These are collected notes on the Miller family which was in Pennsylvania, pioneered Carter County Tennessee (Then Washington District, proposed State of Franklin) (Before 1775), Pioneered Montgomery County, Indiana (1820-24), Pioneered (Millersburg) Mercer County Illinois (1834), and pioneered (Millersburg) Linn County Oregon (1847).

Notes are arranged in as close to chronological order as practical, maintaining the cohesiveness of the source.

A History of Watauga County, North Carolina

John Preston Arthur
pages 57-59

Washington County--formerly
Washington District-...The Farthing grant is to John Carter for 300 acres in the county of Washington, beginning on two white oaks standing near the path that leads across Stone Mountain to Cove Creek and on the west side of the Beaver Dam Creek. It is dated November 17, 1790, and is numbered 947, and recorded in the office of the Secretary's office, page 234.

For, when the Watauga settlers set up house-keeping on their own hook, they had named the territory they had acquired from the Indians by lease and purchase Washington District, and in 1777, before they tried to secede, calling the new State Franklin, North Carolina converted Washington District into Washington County. (Laws 1777, ch. 126.) Dr. Draper continues: "Thence from Talbot's Mill to its head, where they bore somewhat to the left, crossing Little Doe River, reaching the noted 'Resting Place,' at the Shelving Rock, about a mile beyond the Crab Orchard, where, after a march of about twenty miles that day, they took up their camp for the night. Big Doe River, a bold and limpid mountain stream, flowing hard by, afforded the campers, their horses and beef cattle abundance of pure and refreshing water. Here a man of the name of Miller resided who shod several of the horses of the party."

Even Homer and Dr. Draper Sometimes Nod.-- Notwithstanding all the pains Dr. Draper took to get the facts for his excellent "Kings Mountain and its Heroes," his failure to visit the actual scenes along the route of the King's Mountain men is responsible for the error in the statement that the Big Doe River, flowing hard by, afforded the campers, etc., abundance of pure and refreshing water." The nearest point from the Shelving Rock to the Big Doe River is at least one mile and a half where that stream flows through the crab Orchard, and route to it is over a rather high ridge and by a rough trail. But the Little Doe, with enough pure and refreshing water for all the men and stock then in what is now Tennessee, flows within one hundred yards of the Shelving Rock, on which there has been placed a bronze tablet about two feet square with the following inscription:

First Night's
Encampment of
SEPTEMBER 26, 1780.
They Trusted in God and
kept Their Powder Dry.
Placed by John Sevier Chapter,
D. A. R., 1910.

A Busy Forge.-- But he was right in stating that a man of the name of Miller resided at the Shelving Rock and shod their horses, for Squire W. H. Ollis, of Ingalls, N. C., furnished this identical information to the Historical Society of New Jersey in 1872, saying that "Absalom Miller told me that his father lived at Shelving Rock in September, 1780, and shod the horses of some of the King's Mountain men while they camped under the Shelving Rock." As most of Sevier's men were practical blacksmiths, we may well imagine that Johnson's forge was a busy place early on the morning of September 27, 1780, and well up into that day, and that, while some were shoeing the horses, others were busy at bellows and anvil, hammering out horse shoes and nails, thus leaving none of the available tools idle for a moment.

The Millers were some of the first settlers in the Crab Orchard, Near the Shelving Rock, founded by Daniel Boone, and Michael Stoner (Holsteiner) in 1767. They had migrated with the Boone Family from Pennsylvania. The settlers were later involved in the Battle of Point Pleasant as "Long Hunters." Long Hunters were frontiersmen, who would take long solo hunting trips into the wilderness, often at risk of being killed by the Indians.

Carter County Land grants recorded

A-286: 14 Jan. 1800, Lawrence Dunkin of Jefferson Co. TN to Thos. Millard of Carter Co., $300, Lawrence Dunkins patent grant #1287, bearing date 24 Nov. 1797, on the laurel fork of Dor River - same description as A-203, 100 acres. Wit. J. campbell, Timothy (X his mark) Miller, Solomon Campbell. Reg. 2 June 1801.

B-421: 25 Nov. 1813, James Walker of Clebourne Co. TN to Wm. Carter, $1000, 184 acres in Carter Co. on Middle Fork of Blevins Branch. Wit. Abraham Miller, Theodotia (X her mark) Miller, John (X his mark) Miller. Reg. 2 July 1814.

Formed 1796 from Washington
(Old) Wayne formed 1785 from Carter, Johnson; abolished 1788
Johnson formed 1836 from Carter
Unicoi formed 1875 from Carter, Washington

Carter Co. TN County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions
Vol. 3, 1821-1826 (FHL film 24,615, typed by WPA; pgs. 100, 101, 117, 130, 219)

This indicates that John Miller did NOT migrate with his sons.
Carter County, Tennessee- (Private Acts) Acts of 1813, Chapter 10, Page 13, authorized Abraham Hendry and John Miller of Carter County to conduct a lottery to raise not more than $1,200, which would be used to locate or procure salt. They had to execute a bond, publish the notice and scheme of the lottery, make prompt payment to the winner and use the proceeds for no other purpose than the one mentioned. The managers of the lottery were named as George Duffield, William Carter, Charles Reno, Henry McCray, Nathan Shipley, Elkanah H. Dulany and John Punch.

The Miller farm was in other hands well before the following will, indicating they had moved on.

Samuel Wilson's Will
State of Tennessee Carter County

In the name of God amen. I Samuel Wilson being weak in Body but of Sound mind and memory Do make this my Last Will and Testament. I first recommend my Soul to God from whence it Came.

I first will and bequeath to my Sons George and Hugh that Tract of Land on the South Side of Wattauga above the mouth of Elk and that to be equally Divided

2 Item I will to my son John the Miller place on Doe River

3. Item I will Catherine Bowman the Tract of Land where Said Bowman Lately occupied west Side of Doe River.

4th Item I will to Nacha Brumet a Tract of Land known by the Sink Hole place.

5th I will to Joseph and Leavy (Leroy?) Wilson a Horse breast apron worth fifty Dollars Each.

6th I will and bequeath my beloved wife her choice of one out my Stock of Horses two Cows and all the house Hold furniture the balance of my property Such as Hogs, Cattle, Hogs, Sheep. Debts, notes, farming utensils be Sold at public … and Divided … with the Children Given … this 14th Day of April 1827

I appoint my Son John my Executor to my Samuel Wilson (Seal)

Abraham Miller, Jr. Occupations: Teacher, Stone Mason, Minister, Poet, Journalist, Gunsmith, County Clerk, Superintendent of Schools (From Abraham Miller's Notebook)
Linn County, Oregon Pioneer Settlers gives the name Abraham Miller Jr. with a reference of "DLC 164 CC".(A Land Claim number)

December 13, 1811, Abraham Miller, Jr. Born in Cumberland, Crab Orchard, Doe River, Carter, Tennessee, Usa (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

Autumn 1812 Miller Clan moves from Carter County, Tennessee to "Miller's Hollow" Union County, Indiana. In c.1820, the Miller clan relocates to Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, Indiana.

Dec. 15, 1814, Julia Ann Morgan was born in the town of Milton (West Branch of the Susquehanna River) Forvelt township, Northumberland Co, State of Pennsylvania.(Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

July 20, 1822 Elizabeth Crowley Dagley born in Liberty, Clay Missouri, Usa (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

November 17,1828, Abraham Miller Jr. made profession of Religion (From Abraham Miller's Notebook)

June 7, 1829 Abraham Miller Jr. baptized by Elder John Lee, pastor of the Crawfordsville Church of Regular Baptists, Montgomery County State of Indiana in Sugar Creek.(From Abraham Miller's Notebook)

The Sugar Creek Saga - "The First Settlers" :

"...In 1830 George MILLER took charge of the recorder's office, which he filled for the next 16 years. During the twenties successors to the original county commissioners included Henry Ristine, Charles Swearingen, James Milroy, Daniel Easley, Dennis Ball and James Seller. ..."

August 15, 1833 Abraham Miller, Jr. married in Montgomery County Indiana (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

To: Julia Ann Morgan
b: December 15, 1814 in Milton, Northumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
d: April 28, 1858 in Linn, Oregon, USA

Source: A History of Mercer and Henderson Counties, Illinois, page 48

In the meantime a new and distinct settlement was forming, some ten miles up the Edwards River, at a point then and for years afterward known as the Sugar Grove settlement, and after the organization of the county, called the Sugar Grove precinct. A large family, consisting of four brothers, John, Isaac, George and Abraham Miller, with several relatives and friends, settled at this point in 1834, surrounding the grove. The Miller family was originally from Crab Orchard, Tennessee, whence they had removed to near Crawfordsville, Indiana, in about 1820. From that place, several members of the family came on here, in the latter part of April 1834, bringing with them several yoke of oxen and some agricultural implements, for making claims and of planting sod corn. All but Abraham Miller, Junior (son of George Miller, and his wife and wife's sister), returned to Indiana and came out subsequently. Abraham Miller, Jun., proved to be a man of much note in public affairs of this county, and indeed the whole family was, for ten years or more, during their sojourn here, an influential one.

Abraham Miller remained with the growing crops, built a cabin, and became the first permanent settler of the grove, and indeed of a radius of ten or twelve miles. Several other families, some relatives and others mere acquaintances, followed these during the next season, so that by the time the county was organized in 1835, it was found most convenient to divide the county into two precincts: the one at New Boston, which had just been laid out and given that name, instead of Dennison's Landing, and the Sugar Grove precinct. By the fall of 1835, there were probably about sixty inhabitants in and about the Grove. and between 200 and 250 in the whole county.

After years of being part of various territories and other counties, Mercer County's official history began on the first Monday in April 1835.

An Act to Organize Mercer County is found in the session laws for 1835. Section 2 of the Act states that James Irvin, George Piper and Benjamin Vanata, or any two of them shall be judges of the election to be held at the town of New Boston, and George Miller, David Shonce (sic) and Ebenezer Cresswell, or any two of them, shall be judges of the election to be held at the house of George Miller. The New Boston Precinct included the west part of the County and the Miller precinct the eastern settlements. At the Miller precinct David Shaunce and Ebenezer Creswell acted as judges, and John and Abraham Miller as clerks.

Between two polling places, one at the home of Eli Reynolds in New Boston and the other at the home of George Miller in Sugar Grove, the men of the county elected three county commissioners, a sheriff and a coroner. The election would complete the process started Jan. 31 when Illinois legislators passed an act authorizing its organization.

New Boston served as the county seat for two years. In 1837 Millersburg became the county seat. Later Aledo would be given that honor.

[Mercer County towns starting to grow once again; By Pam Berenger, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer]

The groves along the Edwards River were gradually being occupied by settlers, who pushed farther and further toward its source. In the spring of 1835, a distinct settlement, known as the Richland Settlement, or Farlow's Grove, was begun. This was not in what is now known as Richland Grove Township, but in reality along the north side of the Edwards, in what is now Preemption Township.

John Farlow and family, who settled on section 22, came from Indiana in the spring of 1835, and settled as stated, in the fall of the same year Hopkins Boone, now a resident of Viola, occupied section 34. Mr. Boone, with his family, comes from Pennsylvania. This was the farthest from the mouth of the river that any one had yet settled, and indeed at that time there was not a family remaining between that point and the Rock river, nor for many miles to the east, and but one family on the south, between that and Monmouth.

(History of Mercer County, E. H. Hill & Co., Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, 1882)

Perrytown Township
Mercer County, Illinois
Beginning with Page 300

The first settlement in this vicinity was Sugar Grove, April 24, 1834. In the month of March the following named persons left Montgomery County, Indiana, bound for the Mississippi River; Abraham Miller, Jr., and family consisting of self, wife (Julia Ann Morgan Miller) and wife's sister, George Miller, Sr., Abraham Miller, Sr. (Uncle of Abraham Miller, Jr.- Abraham Miller, Jr.'s father was George Miller, Sr.), Isaac Miller, Jr. (Brother to Abraham, Sr.), Jacob (R.) Miller (Brother of George Miller, Sr.), Elias Moore, Ben Welch, Dr. John Kester, William Shuck, Thos. Dawson, James Kester and William Moore.

This company was fitted out with six ox teams with breaking plows and other necessary farming utensils. They intended putting in crops and then returning for the families. George Miller, Sr. was selected as guide because of his extensive experience as a pioneer and he steered their trackless route through the boundless prairie for days and days without aid of a compass, consulting only the stars to guide him to their destination.

This company first landed at Sugar Grove April 24, 1834 and built a small cabin made of split Linn logs, on the east side of the grove on the claim of Abraham Miller, Sr.; and under the protection of this rude cabin they the entire company were sheltered until they each had broken up and planted a piece of sod corn, interspersed with Pumpkin and melons. The wife of Abraham Miller, Jr. (Julia Ann Miller) did the cooking for the entire colony. None of the crops were fenced that season, for as soon as the planted they all started back to Indiana with the exception of Abraham Miller (Jr.) and family. At that time there were no other inhabitants within a circle of ten miles.

Abraham Miller, Jr. with his family remained in their cabin at Sugar Grove until the corn had got well out of the ground, when he removed to New Boston where he remained until fall and until the balance of the company returned with their families from Indiana. Of the original company of settlers at Sugar Grove, all but the Millers and Elias Moore went back to Indiana to remain or settled in the vicinity of New Boston while a few additions were made to this colony by several families that returned with them in the fall.

After the corn crops were all gathered, cabins were built for the different families and preparations were made to settle down for the winter. As the nearest grist mills were on Spoon River most of the meal for subsistence was procured by pounding the corn in improved and rudely constructed mortars.

George Miller, Sr., father of Abraham Miller, Jr., to whom I am greatly indebted for many of these facts, emigrated to Oregon in 1847. In many respects he was a remarkable man, a noble type of material out of which our early settlers were made. He was the father of 24 children all of whom he lived to see grown men and women, and bought and gave to each of them a home. All of his children living, but one, are now in Oregon. He died in Oregon September 11, 1874, in his 90th year and until a short time before his death was as vigorous as most men at 45. Nearly all of the Millers moved to Oregon about the same date. They were originally from the State of Tennessee, Crab Orchard, on Doe River, Carter County. They left there for Indiana in the fall of 1812 when the entire country embraced within the limits of that state was occupied by Indians, and pioneer life was one of constant danger. In 1834 they left Montgomery County, Indiana for Mercer County Illinois which brings them to the time of or history. Of the four elder Millers who originally settled at Sugar Grove, 2 were Democrats in Politics, and 2 were Whigs; 2 were pro slavery and 2 were anti-slavery. 2 were Methodists, and 2 were "old school" Predestinarian Baptists. The children followed their fathers in both Politics and religion. Coming from Tennessee and pioneering in Indiana these early pioneers were independent of most of the aids of civilized society; their clothing was mostly home-made from wool and flax; a spring pole mortar pounded their meal, Their axes built houses, fences and implements; their rifles repleted empty larders….

Soon after the Millers settled at the Grove they made of a Boulder a small grist mill and upon it they and their neighbors ground their grain About 1838 they built a saw mill on Edwards River and a year after a Grist mill and shortly after this a flour mill…..

Three of the Millers were blacksmiths and they made their own mill irons when later they built a better Grist mill and also a saw mill.

April 24, 1834, Abraham Miller left Montgomery County, Indiana for the Illinois country (Mercer county), bounding on the Mississippi River. He was accompanied by Abraham Miller, Jr., and family, George Miller, Sr. (His Brother), Isaac Miller, Jr., Jacob Miller, Elias Miller, Ben Welch, Dr. John Kester, William Moore; Jim Kester and John Miller, Jr. They all proposed putting crops in, & then return to Illinois in the fall.Abraham and Family made permanent settlement that spring.(The Heritage, Albany Oregon, Volume 5, Number 1, January 1991, Page 1, Col 2.(Ref: Story by Ruth Giffin about Abraham Miller. ))

Abraham Miller made a number of maps of the Area trying to show which were military and which were congress lands. He had no colors, so he chewed wildflowers for the different colors to dye the maps.

When they frst arrived at Sugar Grove, they built a small cabin of split Lynn logs on the east side of Sugar Grove on the claim of Abraham Miller, Sr. Everyone lived under this roof until each had broken up and planted a piece of sod with corn, pumpkins and melons. Mrs. Miller did the cooking for the whole crowd. Isaac Miller put in a crop for his father, John Miller, Sr. on the Northeast corner, John Miller for his brother George, between north and Northeast of the grove. Elias Moore on the west side, and George Miller, Sr. on the southeast. No-one got their crops fenced as it was so late in the season. As soon as all the crops were put in everyone put out for home in Indiana, leaving Abraham Miller, Sr. and family alone.

The following year (1835) they all moved to Illinois from Indiana.

Sugar Grove was named for the large number of Sugar Maples that were growing there. Also known as the Grove.

July 21, 1838 The Regular Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, of Edwards River Formed in home of George Miller. (Church and Family History Research Assistance for Primitive Baptist Churches in Mercer County, Illinois)



The first record of The Regular Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, of Edwards River, is the minutes of a meeting of the members, held at the house of George Miller, on Edwards River, July 21, 1838, of which meeting Jeremiah Swofford was chosen moderator, and Abraham Miller Jr., clerk. This meeting was held within the present limits of Perryton township. Meetings were held in the private houses of members until a meeting held in the house of Gabriel M. Barkley, in Farlow's Grove (now in Preemption township), December 22, 1838, the next regular meeting was appointed at the school house in Sugar Grove (now Perryton township). March 23, 1839, they voted to appeal to Henderson Church for letters of dismission and help to constitute them into a separate church. Their prayer was granted, and the Edwards River church was constituted June 29, 1839, by Elders Joseph Jones, Charles Vandeveer, and Hiram Bowman. The members at the constitution were: Joseph and Rebecca Jones; George, Mary Ann, and Julia Ann Miller; Abraham Miller, Jr.; John and Sarah Farlow; Roswell and Mehitable Stanard; Youngs Green; Michael Donahoo; Gabriel M. and Hannah R. Barkley; Mary Miller; and Susannah Shelley. Gabriel M. Barkley was chosen first deacon of the church, and Abraham Miller Jr., first clerk. Elder Joseph Jones was the first moderator and pastor.

The records of New Hope Church for May 1839 show that a request was received from the brethren of the arm of Henderson Church, delivered by brethren Joseph Jones and John Farlow, and agreed to send brethren the Saturday before the fifth Sunday in June, Charles Vandeveer, Peter Butler, John Riggs, and James Kelsey.

The Edwards River Church united with and remained a member of the Spoon River Association during its existence.

The first delegation from this church was Joseph Jones, Gabriel M. Barkley, George Miller, John Farlow, and Abraham Miller Jr., who were appointed to sit in council with and constitute a church at William Denison's. It was agreed at this time (1839) to hold meetings one-half the time at Sugar Grove and one-half the time at Farlow's Grove.

The last regular meeting of this church was held October 9, 1847, when, "after consultation and due deliberation being had the church and council thought it expedient to letter each other out and so become dissolved, inasmuch as the members are moving away out of the bounds of this church." Most of these members shortly thereafter removed to Oregon territory.
source: Mercer.html

(History of Mercer County, E. H. Hill & Co., Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, 1882)
Page 306

Abraham Miller, Jr. claims to have taught the first school at the Grove but is not positive. He did however, teach the first school ever held in Mercer County at or near New Boston.

Page 308-309

Phillip Miller occasionally cut grindstones and gravestones to add to a living obtained by his rifle and the rental of a small piece of land. George J. Miller, son of Abraham Miller, Jr., should properly be entitled to the credit of first birth in this town, but shortly before his birth Mr. Miller had moved his family temporarily to New Boston where he was then teaching school . This was August 31, 1834. But the first at Sugar Grove was that of Eliza Miller, daughter of George Miller, Sr. in 1835. Eliza Miller is now living at Miller's Station, Linn County, Oregon with her second husband, Phillip V. Morris, and she is the mother of a large family of children. William Moore was the first man married; he married Miss Mary Miller, daughter of Isaac Miller at Sugar Grove in 1835. The first death was a child about 1 year old, named Phillip Farlow, son of John and Sarah Farlow; died of croup. (added note: John Farlow sold 200 acres to Maria Barbara Weiss in 1848)

Page 312

Abraham Miller, Jr. was once caught away from home on the prairie in a stinging nor'wester, and so badly frozen that for a time his life was despaired of. He was utterly helpless when found by his neighbors, who had become alarmed for his safety and organized a party of rescue; his skin all peeled off from his face and his hands, and the evil effects of this freezing followed him to the declining years of a remarkably vigorous manhood.

Page 313

The first Justice of the Peace in Sugar Grove Precinct was Abraham Miller, Jr.

Page 348
(June-July 1834)
The first school taught in Mercer County was held in a small log cabin erected on the claim of Erastus Dennison, about 2 miles east of the town of New Boston. The teacher was Abraham Miller, Jr. and the time was summer of 1834. Mr. Miller was a prominent character in the early settlement of the county, having been one of the principal actors in organization of the county and the first County Clerk. Abe, as he was familiarly called, had a strong dislike for the restraints of close fitting garments, and it was no uncommon thing to see him marching to and from school in warm weather barefoot, with loose shirt and flowing pantaloons. This first school was attended by an average of about 10 scholars, the total enrollment for the season reaching only about a dozen.{Note: Abraham wore loose clothing due to his frostbite injuries, clothing touching his skin was painful. - J. G. Scism]

July 31, 1834, George J. Miller, son of Abraham and Julia Ann Miller, born New Boston, Mercer County, Illinois, (Edwards River near New Boston). (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

December 25, 1836, Nancy Ann Miller, daughter of Abraham and Julia Ann Miller was born Sugar Grove, Mercer County, Illinois. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

February 18, 1839, Thomas M. Miller son of Abraham Miller Julia Ann his wife was born in the Town of Millersburgh, Mercer County, State of Illinois. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

5 May 1839, Abraham Miller, Jr. ordained as Old School Baptist Minister (Crawfordsville Church of Regular Baptists, in Sugar Creek, Montgomery County,Indiana .) (From Abraham Miller's Notebook)

5 May 1839, Julia Ann Miller, wife of A. Miller, Jr., was baptized by Elder Joseph Jones pastor of the Henderson Church of Regular Baptists, as a member of the branch of the said church held at Sugar Grove, Mercer county, Illinois, In Edwards river on the First Sunday, made profession of religion August 1834. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Notebook)

December 6, 1840 Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible bought in St. Joseph, Buchannan County Missouri (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

SOURCE: Early Memories, Written by Irene Clark Davis for her sister, Ada E. Brown

Peggy Rowe

Uncle Cyrus spent two winters at Shurtliffe College. One of the winters when Father was there. He married a woman named Charity Hudson and they had two children: Abia, two years older than I, and John Hudson a year or so younger. In the late 40's Uncle left home, the purpose I do not know. He never returned. Grandma thought he had been suddenly stricken with cholera, as it was a year when that ailment raged in the middle west. The wonder of his going was never solved. Aunt was a good woman--his children fine children. Uncle was the youngest of the Clark children--thought to be quite smart and a sweet singer. I think Father received letters from John Hudson while we lived at Brush Prairie. I was fond of Abia. The only Christmas present I ever had in my childhood was a fine roll of stick candy from her. Uncle lived in Boston, Ill. He was a minister. The country around Boston is varied. At our home it was level. Near by were large bald bluffs. I saw them in later years. Uncle Gibbs lived near by us. Father had a friend by the name Cropnel whom we visited sometimes after moving to Sugar Grove. We lived about three miles from New Boston, which was the County seat of Mercer Co., Ill.

Now it is the spring of 1848 and Father moved to Sugar Grove. So does Uncle Gibbs and Uncle Gabriel. At the Grove we find seven Miller families. Father bought of a man by the name of Crull. Uncle Gibbs bought Mr. Griswald's farm. Uncle Gabriel rented a place. Uncle Ransom soon came to be followed by Lewis and Ware Long. The neighborhood entirely changed in the space of two years. Not a Miller left. Four Miller brothers had come to the Grove from some western part of the state, many years before. Some of them had planted fruit trees that were now bearing. In those days grafting and budding were not known and the seedling is slow to bear, so I conclude they had been there 15 or 20 years. Their several names were Abraham, Isaac, John, and George. All good religious people. Had a mill for lumber, grist mill, a log house for school and church.

In 1850 all the elderly ones except Isaac Miller and his family left for Oregon. In 1851 Isaac left, leaving no one by the name of Miller. The Grove now began to be a different place. People from eastern state moved in. I heard Ma tell Pa that she liked the new neighbors better than the old ones. They were so different, (more sociable, I suppose) such as Ma had always associated with.

October 9, 1847, Regular Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, of Edwards River, Mercer County, Illinois dissolved, reason- Movement to Oregon.

Account of the Journey from Mercer County Illinois to Linn County Oregon, via the Oregon Trail, in Prose,

By Abraham Miller Jr.

This Journey began April 11, 1847, and he wrote this c.1849.
(presented to Nancy Ann Miller Weiss on October 4, 1885.)

Note: This transcription is from a booklet presented to his only daughter, Nancy Ann Miller Weiss, who reprinted it and gave copies to other family members. This copy is from a booklet in the possession of Lee Edward Blevins.

When in my native land I dwelt,
With friends for whom my Interest felt;
I burst through ties that bind the strong,
And turned my face towards Oregon.

'Twas thus I left my native home-
Through a wild desert land to roam;
And as my team moved slowly on,
My thoughts flew swift to Oregon.

And when we crossed the last state line,
Of well armed men we numbered nine;
Numbers increased the way along-
With young and old five thousand strong.

Whose snow white sheets all in a row,
With crooks and straights made quite a show-
Much like a swan, a passage bird:
(except the lowing of our herds).

Pleasant roads make joyful crew,
Who fancied pleasures always through;
We ate, and drank, and went our way,
Slept sound all night, and moved all day-

Except the sentinel on guard,
Whose fortune here was rather hard;
Just half the night one out of three:
Stand rain or shine was the decree.

The Buffalo looked with surprise-
Whose frightened herds outstripped our eyes-
The Antelope stamped as we gazed;
At such strange site all stood amazed.

Too soon, alas, all pleasure fled,
The wagon was the sick man's bed,
The wilderness our only home,
Where savage men, and wild beasts roam.

Our screaking wheels moved slowly round-
Where sedge and sands so much abound.
The beetle and the gadfly reigns-
Sole monarchs of the sandy plains.

But when we left the sand behind,
Our road with rock or dust was lined;
O'er rapid streams both deep and clear;
Our winding course we had to steer.

Volcanic piles on every hand,
Oft made me think of Sodom's land;
And wonder what unchristian race,
Had brought this region to disgrace?

Where none but reptiles dare to live;
Ad poisoned streams their venom give!
Of fallen man there was no trace-
God's vengeance had removed his race!

God's curse on everything we saw;
Hung like the Mede and Persian law;
The rain forsook the barren ground;
The mountains were turned upside-down.

The boiling springs with curling smoke,
A deep mysterious volume spoke;
Convincing all who stood around,
Of secret mysteries under ground.

When next we met the human race,
Adjacent to this dismal place;
The sight we saw caused all to blush;-
Their clothing was the willow brush.

The cascades blocked the road ahead;
Snow, hail, and rain, with mud to dread:
Fearing our teams could never pass;
We turned aside for better grass.

Columbia's stream we had in view;
It seemed only an avenue-
Through which at last we hoped to gain,
The Promised Land, the long sought plain.

It rained and stormed, and tost our boat,
O'er rocks and sand, and waves afloat:
At length on shallow sands we found,
Our floundering bark had run aground.

The one thing needful now to do:
Was pack ashore the frightened crew;
Kernaccas soon brought us ashore;
And set the boat afloat once more.

And down the stream our boatmen went,
In gaining land some time was spent,
I only thought of saving life;
My greatest care was a sick wife.

O'er brush and logs I had to pack,
Her feeble form upon my back-
While two sick children grasped my coat,
T'was thus at length we reached the boat.

It somewhat calmed and ceased to rain,
Our sick were fed, and dried again;
And with a light and buoyant heart;
All hands got ready for a start.

Soon down the stream with speed we flew,
With full spread sail and joyful crew;
Too soon alas! We danger saw,
The Cascade fall began to draw!

Just as we gave up all for lost,
A mighty wind the current crost,
And drove us to the destined shore-
In safety reached the land once more.

Among the rocks I pitched my tent,
And wandering up and down I went,
To seek some passage around the falls,
Five miles over rock the current rolls.

Three-quarters of a mile or more,
I lugged our package down the shore,
O'er rocky steeps and slippery ground,
The sick, the weak, I carried down.

As winds came howling through the rocks,
The rain increased its heavy drops;
The drenching torrents overhead,
Reached all on foot and all in bed.

Although we'd passed a fearful place,
Fresh dangers hedged our only pass!
The balance of the fearful way,
The angry waves dasht high their spray!

But when we got our all on board,
The tumbling waves like thunder roared;
Three hundred souls witnessed our start:
Dismay had seized the stoutest heart!

The old canoe was now to try,
Whether we live, or whether die!
Lord, in the storm shall we all lie,
Or on the waves our fortune try?

Thou saved us at the rapids head;
Now at the foot we are afraid:
To trust our lives to Thy strong hand,
As safe on water as on land?

Three daring flatheads seated low,
One in the stern, and two in the bow;
With deaf'ning shrieks they snatched the oar-
They waved farewell to all on shore.

Two minutes and a half we spent,
In passing every mile we went;
With speed and safety did we go,
And shipped aboard a boat below.

At length we reached our journey's end;
Our days in Oregon to spend;
With fertile soil and genial clime;
God grant that we redeem our time.

But when I ranged the wilds around,
Few native aborigines I found,
But ancient marks were everywhere,
Like Israel's tribes had once been there.

Thousands of piles of Moss green rock;
Still grace the rugged mountain's top;
To witness covenants unknown,
To us; lie these mysterious stone.

But mouldering bone, sad, sad to tell;
Where many thousands once did dwell;
We thoughtless tread their ashes down;
To cultivate the forest ground.

Who knows but our enlightened race;
In time, to others must give place?
The present age no prophets tell;
Who next upon this land shall dwell.

No antiquarian ever traced;
Mysteries of the ages past-
Mysterious world where none shall know;
What hidden mysteries time shall show.

Oh! slothful muse why fail to tell?
Of who once was, and yet shall dwell?
The past to present may give birth;
And yet, we're strangers in the earth?

Henceforth let us contented be;
With what we learn from what we see,
If more I learn perhaps I'll tell;
But for the present fare you well.

April 11, 1847- October 10, 1847, Miller and Coon families depart Mercer County, Illinois for Linn County Oregon, via wagon train.

The Diary of James Madison Coon and Nancy Iness (Miller) Coon

on the Oregon Trail
from Mercer County, Illinois to Clackamas County, Oregon in 1847

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================================================================== =====

The original entries to this document were derived from a Transcription by Mrs. Evah (Coon) Smith. Later additions, entries, and corrections are derived from a transcription by Leslie A. Haskin who interviewed Mr. James M. Coon, Jr., the youngest son of James and Nancy Coon. At the time of the Haskin transcription, the original diary was in the possession of the interviewee, James M. Coon, Jr., who was a taylor living at 105 First Street, Albany, Oregon, and was loaned to Leslie Haskin to be transcribed.

This rendition together with supplemental notes and clarifications is respectfully submitted by it's transcriber, Robert Lewis, for the enjoyment and edification of those who delight in the adventure of real American History as it has been recorded by it's participants and preserved for posterity by their descendants.

================================================================== ======

Notes taken from Coon and Miller family history records
in the possession of Robert Lewis

James Madison Coon, born Sept. 24th 1813 in Jefferson County, Kentucky, was the second son of a family of eight children - seven boys and one girl - born to Michael Coon, Jr. and Elizabeth (Kelly) Coon who were married on the 6th of April, 1803 in Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia. Michael was the descendant of hardy German immigrant stock who came from the upper Rhine River Valley to York County, Pennsylvania in 1738. Michael's father, Michael Sr. and six of his brothers were members of the "German Regiment" ("Pennsylvania DEUTSCH" not "Dutch") from York County, Pennsylvania during "The War of the Rebellion" (the Revolutionary War). His wife and James' mother, Elizabeth showed her fine Irish heritage with the great surname of Kelly and was the daughter of George Kelly of Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia.

Nancy Iness Miller, born on April 8th, 1827 in Montgomery County, Indiana, was the seventh child and fifth daughter of a family known to consist of at least thirteen children - five boys and eight girls - of John Miller, Sr. and Sarah Smith of Millersburg, Mercer County, Illinois. Nancy died 7 April, 1907 near Halsey, Linn Co., Oregon.

James and Nancy were married February 21 1847 in Mercer County, Illinois and about two months later, on April 11th, 1847 they departed for Oregon. He was 34 and she was 20 years of age.

================================================================== ======

Crosed the Planes in 1847
Sugartree Grove, Mercer County, Illinois

James M. and Nancy Coon Started to go to Oregon Aprile 11th - 1847.

Sunday April 11th, 1847
Got to Oquawka. acalf gave out.
Weather pleasant.

Mon. Apr 12th
Went to Henry Creek. (??????) all night.

Tue. Apr 13th
Went to James Dill's by 11 oclock.

Note: James S. Dill and his family must have accompanied this wagon train and completed the trip to Oregon as his name appears on a BLM claim map as the holder of Oregon City Land Office Claim # 44, Not. # 2257 for 639.40 acres in Twp 13S, R4W, Willamette Meridian, sec.'s 17, 18, 19, and 20 - close to the present location of Peoria, Linn Co., Oregon. This location is within a mile or two of the claims held by James M. Coon, Jacob L. Coon, and John Miller, Jr. and Sr.

Wed. Apr 14th
Left J. Dills.

Thu. Apr 15th
In Carthage all night.
Lite Rain.

Fri Apr 16th
Cold night.
Lite Rain

Sat Apr 17th
Came through Fairfield.
Weather pleasant.

Sun Apr 18th
Sunday. J. Dill turned his waggon over in corporation of Quincy. His wife got one foot outside time anuf to get it under the sideboard which held her there, til we collected our forces, loosed her and let her go, all right. In Quincy.
Cold rain.

Mon Apr 19th
Crosed the Mississippi River.

Tue Apr 20th
Near Palmira.

Wed Apr 21st
6 miles from Palmira.

Thu Apr 22nd
6 miles to Clinton.
Cold rane.

Fri Apr 23rd
4 miles to Parris.

Sat Apr 24th
In Madison.

Sun Apr 25th
Sunday. 3 miles to Huntsville.

Mon Apr 26th
Left Huntsville at twelve o'clock.
Pleasant. Made 11 miles.

Tue Apr 27th
Passed through Keysville.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Note: This is probably Keytesville, MO. RPL

Wed Apr 28th
In Brunswick.
Hard Rain. Fourteen miles.

Note: Brunswick is on the Grand River near its confluence with the Missouri. To this point they have been following the drainage of the South fork of the Salt River which flows into the Mississippi near Palmyra. Much of Mark Twain's stories and life were involved in this area. (Mark Twain Lake is on the Salt River South Fork.) RPL

Thu Apr 29th
Crossed Grand River.
Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Fri Apr 30th
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Sat May 1st
Cold and Cloudy. Fourteen miles.

Sun May 2nd
Sunday. Crossed Crooked River.
Pleasant. Sixteen miles.

Mon May 3rd
Passed through Richmond and Elkhorn.
Pleasant. Twelve miles.

Tue May 4th
Pleasant. Twelve miles.

Wed May 5th
Crossed through Plattsburg.
Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Thu May 6th
Crossed the Little Platte River.
Rain. Sixteen miles.

Fri May 7th
At Saint Jo.
Pleasant. Twelve miles.

Sat May 8th
Lost one of our Oxen. Pleasant.

Sun May 9th
Sunday. Pleasant.

Mon May 10th
Found our Ox. Rain.

Tue May 11th
Crossed the Missouri River.
Rain. Two miles.

Wed May 12th
Finished getting our train acrossed the river.

Thu May 13th
Camped on a little ravine called Indian Creek.
Pleasant. Five miles.

Note: This is probably Squaw Creek near the present Falls City on the Big Nemaha River in the south east corner of Nebraska in the vicinity of the Iowa SAC and FOX Indian Reservation. Many of the westbound wagon trains followed the north fork of the Big Nemaha to near it's headwaters, cut over to the Big Blue, and followed it's west fork to near Grand Island, Nebraska and the Platte River. RPL

Fri May 14th
Still in camp. Pleasant.

Sat May 15th
Elected Whitcomb for our Captain.

Sun May 16th
Sunday. Fifty four wagons in company.
Cold rain.

Mon May 17th
Camped on Meceto Creek. 83 wagons in camp.
Pleasant. Six miles.

Tue May 18th
Camped at the agency.
Pleasant. Ten miles.

Wed May 19th
Ninty eight wagons in company on the Nemahau.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Thu May 20th
One hundred four wagons in camp on the Nimahau.

Fri May 21st
One hundred fourteen wagons traveling together. Lost our Captain and are in camp on a branch of the Nimahau in four different places.
Twenty miles.

Sat May 22nd
Forty five wagons in this company. One company behind and one before, in camp on the Nimahau.
Pleasant. Twenty two miles.

Sun May 23rd
Sunday. Fifty wagons in camp on a branch of the Nimahau.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Mon May 24th
Still in camp. Cold rain.

Tue May 25th
Eighty nine wagons camped on Big Blue River.
Chilly. Eighteen miles.

Wed May 26th
Still in camp on Big Blue River with fifty wagons.

Thu May 27th
Crossed the Big Blue River and passed the forks of the road to Independence. In camp on a branch of Blue River.
Pleasant. Seventeen miles.

Fri May 28th
Met with an Independence Company of thirty seven wagons in camp on a small ravine to the left of the road.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Note: Wagon trains starting the journey from Independence, MO commonly went into Kansas and followed the Kansas, Big Blue, and/or Little Blue Rivers West and North-west to either Grand Island or Kearney Nebraska on the Platte River. The "Coon / Miller" train has cut across on a much more northerly track to this point. RPL.

Sat May 29th
Passed 5 companies after night on the Republic fork. Camped on prairie. No timber or water.
Twenty five miles.

Sun May 30th
Sunday. Passed one company. Blue Earth River. Saw some Antelope.
Cool. Twenty five miles.

Mon May 31st
Still on the same river. Left part of the company. Thirty four wagons in camp with us.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Tue Jun 1st
Left the Blue Earth River at twelve o'clock. Camped on one of the branches. Saw some Indians (Pawnees). Grass short.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Wed Jun 2nd
Fifty one wagons in camp on Platte River.
Cold rain. Twenty miles.

Note: Judging by their arrival on the Platte this date and at Grand Island Thursday, this river they have followed for the past 5 days must be the West fork of the Big Blue. RPL.

Thu Jun 3rd
At the head of Grand Island. Salty Country.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Fri Jun 4th
Laid by. Two companies passed us, One of thirty three and one of eighteen wagons, and One came up within three or four hundred yards and camped near us. Church man from Washington County, Iowa came up, whom we left with a friend of his from the same place by the name of Scott, who died May 31 on Blue Earth River. We fished and hunted today, caught nothing, killed two jack rabbits, and measured the Platte River by wading it with a rope. Made it one and one quarter miles wide.

Sat Jun 5th
Twenty one wagons passed us.
Five miles. Pleasant.

Sun Jun 6th
Forty three wagons passed us. Laid by.
Hard rain.

Mon Jun 7th
Passed three companies in the evening on a small ravine running into the Platt, it being too full to camp we had the good luck to pass One company of forty three wagons scattered for half a mile on each side of the road, one half of them were fast in the mud. The poor oxen had to pay the bill or bear the blame. They had two Roman Catholics in their company. They were stalking around among the men with their long robes on and their bibles under their arms praying to God to help them out. He didn't. We passed altogether ninety four wagons in the low bottom on the Platt, a great many fast in the mud. Three miles and camped on the prairie. Fifty one wagons in camp.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Tue Jun 8th
We have plenty of buffalo meat.
Pleasant. Sixteen miles.

Wed Jun 9th
Indians got inside of the guard. Shot at them 3 times. All right. Good camping so far.
Cool. Eighteen miles.

Thu Jun 10th
Traveled today.
Pleasant. Seventeen miles.

Fri Jun 11th
Within eight miles of a new crossing of the South fork of the Platte.
Fifteen miles. Pleasant.

Sat Jun 12th
Crossed Platte 25 miles from the mouth. Passed Captain Findley's company.
Warm. Ten miles.

Sun Jun 13th
Camped on a branch of the Platte branch.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Mon Jun 14th
Buried Turner's son, three years old. Left south fork of the Platt at 12 o'clock. Camped on the prairie eight miles from the river. Here we used buffalo chips for fire for the first time.
Cold. Seventeen miles.

Tue Jun 15th
Came five miles to Ash Hollow. Here we left 37 wagons. Came on the North Platte and camped.
Pleasant. Six miles.

Note: Ash Hollow State Historical Park is located on the North Platte River about 20 miles northwest of Ogallala, NB, near the town of Lewellen. RPL

Wed Jun 16th
Laid by. Pleasant.

Thu Jun 17th
Laid by. Pleasant.

Fri Jun 18th
Camped at Spring Creek and Sandy River.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Sat Jun 19th
In camp at Three Bluff Springs.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Sun Jun 20th
Camped within five miles of Chimney Rock. Nooned near the Solitary.
Pleasant. Sixteen miles.

Mon Jun 21st
Camped near Scotts Bluff.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Tue Jun 22nd
Nooned at a spring in the bluff. In camp on Horse Creek.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Note: Horse Creek is on the Nebraska/Wyoming border and is shown on present-day maps as the site of a significant Indian Treaty. RPL.

Wed Jun 23rd
Camped on Platte River. Got blacksmith tools from Findley's company.
Pleasant. Three miles.

Thu Jun 24th
Laid by. Set tires and shod some horses and oxen. 4 head cattle died.

Fri Jun 25th
Wood and water and grass plenty, among the latter is some poison. 2 Oxen died.

Sat Jun 26th
1 cow died.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Sun Jun 27th
Camped at a Sioux Indian town. Quite a trade was got up between the women and Squaws trading beads and other trinkets for bread and meat. At Fort Laramie the old Chief told us we had to pay him for passing through his country. The commander at the Post told us it was customary to give him something. He spread down his blanket and each man put on his pay, some flour, some meat, coffee, beans, peas, dried fruit, etc. He was well pleased.
Pleasant. Twelve miles.

Mon Jun 28th
Three oxen died. In camp at good springs in ravine. Three companies here. Nooned at warm springs.
Light rain. Eleven miles.

Note: Warm Springs are located near the North Platte River and the present Wyoming town of Guernsey. RPL.

Tue Jun 29th
Divided the Whitcomb company on Bitter Cottonwood Creek. In camp on Horseshoe Creek.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Wed Jun 30th
Camped on a large creek. Grass has been short from the other side of Fort Laramie.
Pleasant. Seventeen miles.

Thu July 1st
In camp on a small ravine.
Pleasant. Sixteen miles.

Fri Jul 2nd
In camp on a large creek. Wood, water and grass plenty.
Pleasant. Ten miles.

Sat Jul 3rd
In camp on Platte river. Met 2 Frenchmen from Fort Hall.
Very high wind. Light rain.

Sun Jul 4th
Laid by. Saw eight men from Oregon.

Mon Jul 5th
Plenty wood, water, and grass.
Light rain. Eight miles.

Tue Jul 6th
In camp on the Platte.

Wed Jul 7th
Camped at the crossing. Plenty of wood, grass and water. Nine wagons in camp.
Pleasant. Ten miles.

Thu Jul 8th
At Blue Springs. Crossed Platt. Ninety wagons here. Good company.
Twelve miles.

Fri Jul 9th
At Soap Springs six miles from Willow Spring. Passed Poison Springs at noon.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Sat Jul 10th
Nooned at Rock Independence. In camp on the Sweet Water. Saw snow at Horse or Crooked Creek.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Sun Jul 11th
On Sweetwater 2 miles from Devil's Gate. Stopped part of the day. Good camping.
Weather Pleasant. Ten miles.

Mon Jul 12th
On the Sweetwater. Broken sandy roads or country. Cold day and nights colder.
Fifteen miles.

Tue Jul 13th
Camped on the North side of the Sweetwater. Came a short cutoff.
Good camp. Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Wed Jul 14th
On Sweetwater. Camped with a company going to the states, with fourteen men in it.
Good camping. Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Thu Jul 15th
Camped on a ravine on the north side of the Sweetwater. Met Captain William Findley going to the States.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Fri Jul 16th
Nooned at the head of the Sweetwater. In camp at the Pacific Spring.
Pleasant. Twenty five miles.

Sat Jul 17th
On Little Sandy.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Note: The Little and Big Sandy Rivers are tributaries of the Green River which flows into the Colorado to the south in Utah. Our travelers are now west of the Continental Divide, and in a few more miles will be traveling valleys of rivers which flow to the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. The Bear and Port Neuf rivers are tributaries of the Snake. RPL

Sun Jul 18th
On Big Sandy.
Pleasant. Six miles.

Mon Jul 19th
Left Big Sandy at 3 o'clock p.m. and travelled all night.

Note: Between the Big Sandy and Bear Rivers is a large alkali desert with essentially no water. Travelling at night would have reduced the animals need for water. To circum-navigate this desert following a trail with adequate water would take several days. RPL

Tue Jul 20th
Came to Green River at twelve o'clock, crossed and camped on the bank. We traveled twenty seven hours.
Pleasant. Forty five miles.

Wed Jul 21st
Camped on a creek five miles from the crossing of the Green River.

Thu Jul 22nd
On a small ravine. Good camping.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Fri Jul 23rd
Camped at a spring at the top of mountains, 5 miles west of the fork of Bear River.
Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Sat Jul 24th
On Bear River.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Sun Jul 25th
On Bear River.
Pleasant. Six miles.

Mon Jul 26th
On Port Neuf River. Good camping.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Note: Bear River flows into the Port Neuf near the present town of Montpelier, Idaho. RPL

Tue Jul 27th
At Good springs.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Wed Jul 28th
Nooned at Soda Springs. Camped at Soda Pool. Seven miles further on.
Pleasant. Seventeen miles.

Thu Jul 29th
On Port Neuf River.
Sixteen miles.

Fri Jul 30th
On a ravine running west.
Good camp. Sixteen miles.

Sat Jul 31st
On Snake River near Fort Hall.
Eighteen miles.

Note: Old Fort Hall was located near the present town of Pocatello, Idaho. RPL

Sun Aug 1st
Nooned at Fort Hall. Camped on Port Neuf River.
Twelve miles.

Mon Aug 2nd
American Falls on the Snake River.
Fourteen miles.

Tue Aug 3rd
On Fall Creek. Good camping.
Twelve miles.

Wed Aug 4th
On Raft River. Good camp.
Eight miles.

Note: Raft River is just down stream on the Snake from Massacre Rocks where a major Indian engagement with a wagon train occurred a few years later than this trip. RPL

Thu Aug 5th
On Swamp Creek. Fifteen miles.

Fri Aug 6th
Nooned on Snake River twelve miles from Swamp Creek which is four miles from the river. Camped on Goose River.
Sixteen Miles. Weather still Pleasant.

Sat Aug 7th
On Dry branch, water in pools. Good camping. From Goose River to Snake River is nine miles, then thirteen miles to this branch.
Twenty two miles.

Note: Present day maps refer to this as Goose Creek. RPL

Sun Aug 8th
On Rock Creek. Good water but no grass at the crossing.
Pleasant. Ten miles.

Mon Aug 9th
After leaving Rock Creek, good country for seven miles.
Pleasant. Seven miles.

Tue Aug 10th
On a small ravine, poor camping.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Wed Aug 11th
On Salmon Creek. Good camping. Four miles after coming down the bluff.
Pleasant. Two miles.

Note: Flows into the Snake near present-day Buhl and Wendell, Idaho. RPL

Thu Aug 12th, Fri Aug 13th.
Left the Salmon Falls at 5 P.M. Stranded until two o'clock in the morning. Started at five and traveled till seven in the evening Saturday. We then left our wagons two miles from the river and drove our cattle to it. Some were nearly drowned.

Sat Aug 14th
This morning brought the outfit down to the first crossing of Snake River forty miles from Salmon Falls.
Pleasant. Forty miles.

Note: Judging by distance and time from Fort Hall, and the terrain, this crossing was very probably in the vicinity of present day Glenn's Ferry, Idaho. RPL.

Sun Aug 15th
Camped at ford. Pleasant.

Mon Aug 16th
Left the ford to make road down south side of river.
Pleasant. Six miles.

Tue Aug 17th
Worked road grading around a point on the river. Twenty seven hands worked.

Wed Aug 18th
Illness of Julian Miller held up the train.

Thu Aug 19th
Did not break camp. Pleasant.

Fri Aug 20th
Made the river. Good camping.
Seven miles.

Sat Aug 21st
Ten miles from the river. Good camping for five miles. At this point the road leaves the river.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Sun Aug 22nd
Five miles to Indian River. Eight miles further to Snake River. Good camping at both sites. Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Mon Aug 23rd
Ten miles to the river. Camping poor. Grass and Wood scarce.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Tue Aug 24th
Seven miles to a creek with little grass. Two miles to the river. No grass. Six miles to a creek. Grass on the river for one mile down the creek, but little.
Pleasant. Sixteen miles.

Wed Aug 25th
Good camping.
Pleasant. Sixteen miles.

Thu Aug 26th
On the river or bluff all day. Good camping along the grass on the island. We passed two hot springs today becoming suddenly aware of the "HOT" when we laid down to drink.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Fri Aug 27th
Traveled along the river for seven miles, then left it to return again after eight miles march. Good camping on down the river.
Pleasant. Twenty miles.

Sat Aug 28th
Followed the course of the river all day. Good camping throughout the day's journey, with grass on the islands.
Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Sun Aug 29th
Reached the Owyhee river today at twelve o'clock. Good camping.
Pleasant. Eight miles.

Mon Aug 30th
2 miles to the old road that comes from Fort Boise. John Miller's wife died today at three o'clock. Camped at the ford of the Malheur River. Good camping. We stuck our fingers into a hot spring we discovered here.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Tue Aug 31st

Wed Sep 1st
Buried Louisa Miller at eleven o'clock and left the ford. Let me explain here that we buried Louisa in the road and the wagon train drove over her grave in an effort to conceal it from the prying eyes of the Indians.
Pleasant. Eight miles.

Note: Information found in the records of Abraham Miller indicate this lady to be the wife of Abraham's brother John Miller. Louisa and John would have been Nancy's Aunt and Uncle RPL.

Thu Sep 2nd
Traveled fifteen miles to a little creek where we found grass. Camped on the Snake River three miles further on.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Note: This would have been in the vicinity of Farewell Bend. RPL

Fri Sep 3rd
Drove five miles to Burnt River, and followed it for nine miles. Leaving the river we traveled four miles and returned to it and found good camping along its banks.
Pleasant. Eighteen miles.

Sat Sep 4th
Came four miles. Left the river and went up Burch Creek four miles. Left Burch Creek and came three miles to Willow Creek. Then traveled two miles to Burnt River up which we traveled two miles. Good camping every few miles.
Pleasant. (???) miles.

Sun Sep 5th
Sunday. On the Burnt River and came up the north side two miles, then left it for three miles and came on it again after five miles traveled. Leaving it we traveled two miles and came on it again and traversed another three miles along the Burnt River road which is pretty rough. Camped this evening at the head of the North Branch. Good camping.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Mon Sep 6th
Came into the Powder River Valley traveling thirteen miles without water. This branch of the Powder River was dry with water in pools along the river bed. Came down the valley about two miles.
Windy. Fifteen miles.

Tue Sep 7th
Came nine miles to Powder River, four miles to crossing, two miles to a creek and camped. John Miller's child died today. Good Camp.
Pleasant. Twelve miles.

Note: Information found elsewhere in the records of Abraham Miller show this John Miller to be Nancy (Miller) Coon's Uncle who came to Oregon bringing two more children, settled on a DLC in Benton County, raised the other children, and no records indicate that he ever re-married. RPL

Wed Sep 8th
Encamped at the foot of the hill after coming into Grande Ronde. Plenty grass, wood, and water.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Thu Sep 9th
At the foot of the hill in Grande Ronde this evening. There are a good many Indians here with ponies to trade or sell. Good camp.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Fri Sep 10th
This evening we camped on the Grand Ronde River at the foot of the Blue Mountains. The grass is short.
Pleasant. Eight miles.

Sat Sep 11th
On Still branch camped one mile from the brink of the hill. It is one mile down to the river.
Pleasant. Twelve miles.

Sun Sep 12th
Came eight miles to a creek, Louis Camp, and from there came two miles and made camp. Good camping.
Rain. Ten miles.

Mon Sep 13th
Cold and chilly. Came fifteen miles to the Umatilla River. Came two miles down it and succeeded in getting peas and potatoes from the Indians living there.
Rain. Seventeen miles.

Tue Sep 14th
Left Umatilla after coming down it eight miles. Went on nine miles and left the road.
Cold. Eighteen miles.

Wed Sep 15th
Today we came to the river and followed it eight miles, then crossed it and went on nine miles to a good camp.
Pleasant. Fifteen miles.

Thu Sep 16th
Lost some oxen and hired the Indians to hunt them. The oxen were soon returned and the Indians paid with a shirt.

Fri Sep 17th
Left the Umatilla River and journeyed to the Columbia. Sandy road with no grass.
Warm. Fifteen miles.

Sat Sep 18th
Left the river after coming down it four miles. Came seven miles and left the road, went one mile to the river and camped. Grass and wood are scarce. I lost two of my oxen, Jack and Jerry. A few Indians standing around offered to hunt them down for two shirts but I hunted for them until I got so tired hunting I could go no further. Then I accepted their offer, whereupon they mounted their ponies. Presently they returned with the oxen and I finished the bargain by giving them two shirts. We have been traveling in a company of twenty five wagons. Since coming to the Columbia River I have learned that smaller companies have been robbed by the Indians.
Hot. Eleven miles.

Sun Sep 19th
Traveled along the river all day. Grass and wood are scarce.
Pleasant. Ten miles.

Mon Sep 20th
Remained close to the river all day. We are camped on Willow Creek. Good camping.
Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Tue Sep 21st
Came twelve miles to dry hollow. Went two miles to the river for water. Camped one mile up on the bluff with no wood nor water but much grass.
Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Wed Sep 22nd
Came eight miles to Rock Creek then down it five miles to camp. Good camping.
Pleasant. Thirteen miles.

Thu Sep 23rd
Came one mile down Rock Creek to the John Day River, one mile farther down we crossed and went up a big hill, traveling on fifteen miles to a dry branch. We came up the branch and camped at a spring three miles from the mouth. There is no wood here.
Pleasant. Nineteen miles.

Fri Sep 24th
Came three miles to a pool of water. I got breakfast. Then we pushed on to where the road leaves the branch. One mile beyond this is good camping. We camped where there was no wood nor water. There was good grass.
Cool. Ten miles.

Sat Sep 25th
A good many of the emigrants were sick from the exposure and hardship of the journey. We descended a steep hill and came upon the Deschutes River.
Pleasant. Twelve miles.

Sun Sep 26th
Made a boat of our wagons and stretched a rope across the river and passed it back and forth by the ripe (??). As the old saying is, a heap of hands make light work. We took our wagons to pieces and at dark had them all across in one big pile on the (?????). A hard place to camp.

Mon Sep 27th
We were all day swimming our cattle across. Two or three were killed and three or four crippled. It's a very rocky ford and the water runs very rapidly. We had a good time getting our herds together on the rocks of the hillside.

Tue Sep 28th
Came up a very long, steep and rocky hill. Came eight miles to the west fork of the river. Good camping.

Wed Sep 29th
Came three miles and crossed the river. Came two miles, crossed a creek and came five miles to another creek. Crossed it and camped.
Ten miles. Weather hot.

Thu Sep 30th
Came four miles to Barlow's Gate and paid five dollars toll to cross the Cascade Mountains. We came eight miles to a creek. No grass. Lost a cow at this camp. (From description, A. Piburn got her)
Twelve miles. Pleasant.

Fri Oct 1st
Camped alone on a small branch. Grass off to the right.
Eleven miles. Pleasant.

Sat Oct 2nd
We were alone and upset our wagon today. No grass.
Eight miles. Rain.

Sun Oct 3rd
At the summit of the mountains. We packed our plunder all up the hill. It stunk with dead cattle. Here we lost five oxen. I buried an anvil and some log chains to the left of the road at the foot of the summit. Camped in a small prairie. Little grass.
Six miles. Cloudy.

Mon Oct 4th
At the foot of Laurel Hill, a poor camp with no grass. We cut down maple for browse.
Ten miles. Rain.

Tue Oct 5th
In camp on the Zigzag after crossing it four times. No grass.
Ten miles. Rain.

Wed Oct 6th
In camp at the fifth crossing. Little grass.
Five miles. Pleasant.

Thu Oct 7th
In camp at the top of a hill after crossing Sandy. No grass. We cut young maple for our cattle to browse on.
Seven miles. Pleasant.

Fri Oct 8th
In camp half a mile after crossing the Big Sandy. No grass, maple browse again.
Seven miles. Pleasant.

Sat Oct 9th
In camp on a small ravine. Little grass. We upset our wagon again today in a big mudhole where the road made a turn around the end of a log. We spilled all we had, even our sack of gold and silver in all amounting to five dollars. All said, we had a muddy fingering getting it all together again.
Six miles. Cloudy.

Sun Oct 10th
Came two miles to the FIRST HOUSE IN OREGON!!! To the second house three miles. Some grass. Here we camped.
Five miles. Pleasant.

I am thankful, for the Lord has been merciful.

Whole distance traveled from St. Joe on the Missouri River to the Willamette Valley, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine miles.

Days traveled on the road, one hundred forty one.

Days laid by or didn't travel, twenty two.

James Madison and Nancy Iness (Miller) Coon.

================================================================== ======

********************************************************************* *******************************************

The following additional information was provided by James M. Coon, Jr. in his interview with Leslie Haskin:

My father and mother reached Foster's ranch at the end of the Barlow Pass on Sunday, October 10th, 1847. Thus far it is told in the diary. After reaching the Foster ranch, they spent a few days there to rest their teams. They then went on to the Pudding River where they passed their first winter.

Their first child was born in the winter of 1847. He died at the same place in 1848. In the spring of 1848, father came to Linn County and took up his donation land claim near Peoria where he spent the remainder of his life. In all, father and mother were the parents of fourteen children.
===================================================================== ===

Notes taken from Coon and Miller family history records
in the possession of Robert Lewis

================================================================== ======

To provide the reader with a more concise and complete story, the following notes are appended here to give further insight into the activities of these pioneer families:

Several of James Madison Coon's brothers and many members of the Miller family travelled the trail to Oregon at various times. Family records indicate that apparently Rev. Jacob L. Coon, the third of the seven brothers, had gone some two years earlier, in 1845, and probably sent stories home about "This wonderful land called OREGON" enticing other family members to join him in the trek west.

I: George Kelly Coon: Born 7 Jun 1805 in Natural Bridge, Rockbridge Co., Virginia. Married Catherine Morgan 21 Aug 1839 in Ohio. Other family records show the marriage took place in Missouri. Started to Oregon in 1850. Stopped in western Missouri for thirteen years. Went on to Oregon in 1863 and died in Marion County, Oregon 11 Mar. 1896.

II: James Madison Coon: The subject of this composition, born 24 Sept., 1813 in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. To Oregon in 1847, and died at Peoria, Linn Co., Oregon 30 May 1890. He was buried in the Coon/Miller Cemetary at Peoria.

III: Rev. Jacob L. Coon: Born 3 Oct 1819 near Louisville in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Public records indicate that he was the first of the family to go to Oregon. His obituary, published in the February 24th, 1904 issue of the "Albany Democrat" newspaper states that he arrived in Oregon in 1845 when he would have been age 26 years. He married Sarah Miller, sister of Nancy Iness, Born 6 May 1824 in Montgomery County, Indiana, on 27 Nov, 1851 at Peoria Precinct, Linn County, Oregon. Their Donation Land Claim - #661 for 640.00 acres in Twp 13S, R4W Willamette Meridian, Linn County, Oregon, adjoined his father-in-law's - #660 and that of his brother, James Madison Coon, near the present towns of Shedd and Peoria.

IV: Washington Landis Coon: Born 10 Mar 1825 near Louisville in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Went to Missouri and then to Oregon in 1850. Returned east via South America in 1864 and then later returned to Oregon again. Is listed as a minor child in custody papers in his fathers estate in 1839 signed by George Kelly Coon.

V: Mary Jane Coon: Married as his second wife Nicholas Miller, brother of Nancy Iness (Miller) Coon on 25 Oct. 1849 in Rock Island County, Illinois. Nicholas was born 15 Jan 1816 in Wayne County, Indiana and died 16 Apr 1889 in Linn County, Oregon. He is listed as the holder of Oregon City DLC (Donation Land Claim) nr. 654 in Linn County, Oregon. No known dates or information about when this couple came west but presumed to be about 1850 to 1852. Mary does not appear on her father's estate papers as a dependent minor. She may have been older than most of the other children.

VI: L.E.V. (Lincoln) Coon: Family records show his children living in Idaho near the turn of the century.

VII: William Abner Coon: No records.

VIII: Charles Harrison Coon: No known dates. He is listed in 1839 as a minor child in the custody papers signed by his older brother, George Kelly Coon, found among his father Michael's estate records in Warren Co., Illinois.

Other family records indicate that most if not all of Nancy (Miller) Coon's parents and siblings were among the members of this wagon train. Note the Burial of Louisa Miller, the wife of John Miller, probably a brother of Abraham Miller., on September 1st. and the death of "John Miller's child" on September 7th, near the Powder River in eastern Oregon.

Oregon land records show that John Miller, Sr's "DLC" - Donation Land Claim (Oregon City DLC # 660) - Jacob Landis Coon's (Oregon City DLC #661), that of James Madison Coon (Oregon City DLC # 329 645.8 Acres TWP 13S R4W Sec. 4,5,8,9), and Nicholas and Mary Jane (Coon) Miller's (Oregon City DLC # 654 TWP 13S R4W Sec. 23) adjoined each other near Peoria in Linn County, Oregon.

Nancy's family is known to have consisted of at least the following family members. There may have been others (I have heard thirteen in all), but they are unknown to the compiler at this time:

Father: John Miller Sr. Born 15 Dec. 1792 in Carter County, Tennessee, lived in Millersburg, Mercer Co, Illinois prior to the 1847 trip to Oregon. Family tradition claims that these people founded both towns of Millersburg, Illinois and Millersburg, Oregon.

Mother: Sarah Smith. Born 9 July 1790 and Died 27 July 1853 in Linn Co., Oregon. She is buried in the Coon/Miller Cemetary at Peoria, Linn Co., Oregon but there are no dates or places listed on her gravestone. No further known information.

I: Isaac Miller: Born 19 July 1813 in Carter Co., Tennessee. Married Mary Gingles 20 Oct., 1842 in Mercer Co., Illinois, and died 19 June 1893 in Linn County, Oregon, and is buried in the Coon/Miller Cemetary, Peoria, Linn County, Oregon. He would have been 34 years old during the 1847 trip to Oregon. Isaac and Mary held DLC # 3116 in Benton County, Oregon.

II: Nicholas Miller: Born 15 January 1816 in Wayne Co., Indiana. He was 31 years of age on the 1847 trip to Oregon. He died 16 Apr 1889 in Linn County, Oregon. Buried Pine Grove Cemetary, Shedd, Linn Co., Oregon. Married as his second wife Mary Jane Coon, sister of James Madison Coon 25 Oct. 1849 in Rock Island County, Illinois. No dates or information as to when this couple came west but assumed to be about 1850 to 1852 considering their marriage and DLC dates and locations. They are listed by the Oregon BLM as the holders of Donation Land Claim (Patent) # 654 in Twp 13S R4W Section 23, Linn County, Oregon.

III: Mary Miller: Born 18 July 1818 in Indiana. She married James King - no date or place known - Died 30 Aug. 1838 at the age of 20, probably in Illinois. No further information known at this writing.

IV: Susanna Miller: Born 20 January 1820 in Indiana. She married Noah King on 30 Sept., 1838. She married Wair Long some time in 1847. No known places for either marriage. She would have been 27 years old on the 1847 trip to Oregon and is known to have died in Oregon and probably is buried in the Coon/Miller Cemetary at Peoria, Linn Co., Oregon but no dates are known.

V: Elizabeth Miller: Born 27 December 1821 in Indiana. She married James F. Jones on 1 April, 1847 at Mercer Co., Illinois - just 10 days before the family departure to Oregon. She would have been 25 years old when the family came to Oregon in 1847. She and James are listed as the holders of DLC # 4730 in Linn Co., Oregon. The both died in Oregon but no known place or dates at this writing.

VI: Sarah Miller: Born 6 May 1824 in Montgomery County, Indiana. Was 23 years old when the family came to Oregon in 1847. Married Rev. Jacob L. Coon on 27 Nov, 1851 at Peoria Precinct, Linn County, Oregon. Their Donation Land Claim - #661 for 640.00 acres in Twp 13S, R4W Willamette Meridian, Linn County, Oregon, adjoined his father-in-law's - #660 and that of his brother, James Madison Coon, near the present towns of Shedd and Peoria.

VII: Nancy Iness Miller: Born 8 April 1826 in Indiana, married James Madison Coon February 21 1847 in Mercer County, Illinois. She died 7 April, 1907 near Halsey, Linn Co., Oregon. These people show in BLM records as the holders of Oregon City DLC # 50, Not. # 2563 for 640.00 acres in Twp 13S, R4W Willamette Meridian, Linn County, Oregon, near the present towns of Shedd and Peoria. Nancy was 21 years old at the time of the 1847 trip to Oregon.

VIII: John Miller, Jr.: Born 28 February 1828 in Montgomery Co., Indiana. Twin to Katherine Miller. He was 19 years old on the trip to Oregon. He was on the wagon train accompanying James and Nancy (Miller) Coon and we are told by James M. Coon, Jr.'s interview with Leslie Haskin that it was his child who died September 1st, and his wife Louisa who died September 7th "near the Powder River in eastern Oregon" as quoted from the diary. BLM records show him as the holder of Claim # 64, Not. #2538, 160.73 acres in Sec. 3, Twp 13S, R4W, Willamette Meridian, in Linn Co., Oregon near Shedd, adjoining his father's and James M. Coon's claims.

IX: Katherine Miller: Born 28 February 1828 in Montgomery Co., Indiana. Died 14 April, 1830 at the age of two years, Twin to John Miller, Jr. Since the family is known to still be in Indiana at the birth of each of the next four children, it is assumed that she died and was buried in Montgomery Co., Indiana.

X: George Washington Miller: Born 6 April 1830 in Montgomery Co, Indiana. Died 25 Oct., 1914 at Dayton, Columbia Co., Washington He married Sarah Ping on the 25th of Oct., 1858 at Linn Co., Oregon, and married 2nd Mary J. Watkins - date and place not known. He appears on BLM records as the holder of DLC # 38, Not. #2238, 116.34 acres, and DLC # 65, 44.36 acres, Twp 13S, R4W, Willamette Meridian, Linn County, Oregon. This claim crosses the Twp line into Twp 12S, R4W, sec.'s 33 and 34.

XI: Jacob L. Miller: Born 10 September, 1831 in Montgomery Co., Indiana. He would have been age 15 at the time of the trip to Oregon. He married Amanda Ella Dawson probably in Linn County, Oregon, and was known to be living in Dayton, Columbia Co., Washington in April of 1907 when Nancy (Miller) Coon died. BLM records show him holding DLC # 4758 in Linn Co., Oregon.

XII: Rachel Miller: Born 10 September 1831 in Montgomery Co., Indiana, twin to Jacob L. Miller. She died 4 Aug 1904 and is buried in the Union Point Cemetary at Banks, Washington County, Oregon. No marriage information is known at this writing.

XIII: Eliza Miller: Born 1 April 1834 in Indiana. She would have been 13 years old at the time of the Oregon trip, and must have either stayed in the east or returned there as the records show that she married Jezreel Vanator on 9 Mar, 1851 at Ft. Dearborn, Dearborn Co., Indiana. She was known to be living in Lakeview, Lake County, Oregon in April of 1907 when Nancy (Miller) Coon died. Eliza died in Lakeview and is buried in the IOOF Cemetary, Lakeview, Lake Co., Oregon - no known dates.

================================================================== ======

A second Miller family line is represented in this story by a Samuel W. Miller, the son of Abraham Miller Jr. and Julia Ann (Morgan) Miller. Samuel was married on 29 Nov, 1868 in Linn County, Oregon to Sarah Caroline Coon, the daughter of James Madison and Nancy Iness (Miller) Coon, born 14 Mar, 1849 near Peoria, Linn County, Oregon. Samuel's mother, Julia Ann Morgan, was a sister of Catherine Morgan who married George Kelly Coon, the eldest brother of James Madison Coon, who came to Oregon from western Missouri in 1863 and settled "on Coon Mountain" near the town of Bellfountain in Benton County, Oregon.

Further research into the Miller Family shows that there were at least three John Millers among the travelers on this wagon train, and TWO more arrived in Oregon on other trains the same year.-

Although the diary claims to start at "Sugartree Grove, Illinois", research in the Miller family line indicates that the present-day name for the place in Illinois is "Millersburg" - thus the trip actually commences in Millersburg, Mercer County, Illinois and ends at Millersburg (a present day suburb of Albany), Linn County, Oregon. The Miller family research also indicates that the family were indeed "Millers" - having engaged in flour/grist mill operation at several locations in Indiana, later in Kewanee, Henry County, Illinois and both Millersburgs as well as prior to their immigration to America from Germany (indications are that in Germany, the family name was Mueller - derived from their trade). Ship's passage records for the progenitor immigrant of this Miller line show the spelling Muller where the "u" is an "umlaut" with the dots over the "u". The German heritage of both the Miller and Coon families offers a ready explanation for their group movements together - Virginia to Kentucky and Ohio to Indiana to Illinois and later to Oregon. In fact it is known that the Coons continued to speak German well into the third generation in the new world AND both families had roots in the Pfalz-Zweibruken area of the upper Rhine River Valley near the Allsais Loraine district.

The WPA interviewer, Leslie Haskin was unable to read certain areas of the original diary and as such, substituted question marks (?????) for the unreadable information. This practice is carried forward in this rendition.

Robert Lewis

Glenn Harrison

Hi Jeff,
The book is in my Western History library at mt house. It took me until
6:00 pm today to find where I had placed it on the shelves. It is 207
pages. It is letters sent to the Mercer County Illinois Historical Society
by Abraham Miller, Jr. (son of George), Issac Miller, Jr. (son of Abraham)
and William Doaks.

Here is a piece I wrote using the information for the January 1997 Linn
County Historical Society Newsletter.

Many members of the Miller families settled in the area now known as
Millersburg, northeast of Albany. Abraham George Miller Jr.; his wife,
Julia Ann (Morgan) Miller, and their children George J. age 13, Nancy Ann
nearly 11 and Thomas M. age 8, traveled from Indiana, although Abraham was
born in Tennessee and Julia was born in Pennsylvania. In 1876, as part of
the United States Centennial the Mercer County Illinois Historical Society
asked people from that county to share their experiences. In 1990, this
family information was compiled by Delmar ³Jack² Poe and shared by Nancy
Botteri, a Miller descendent. Abraham Miller, Jr. recalled the incredible
difficulties in getting to their destination in 1847, especially across
Idaho and Oregon and the portage around the rapids along the Columbia River
west of Stevenson, Washington. Imagine the discouraging feelings and
depression of one thing occurring after another.

³I traveled for about 1500 miles on the plains that my wife was not able
to cook a meal¹s vituals, myself and family nearly all the time sick by
turns. But, fortunately for us, either myself, some one of the children or
my brother Samuel S. Miller (then a young man) was generally some one of us
able to crawl around and prepare victuals for the rest of us. Many times
have I cooked a meal and sat flat in the sand, and my little sick children
drag out pots, and provisions to me, and they would gather up a few sticks
of small wood, willow brush, or dry Buffalo chips.

³My wife had suffered long from scurvy and camp fever, often relapsing.
And when we reached the upper ford of the Snake River, she had got able to
sit up in the tent, a rain and wind storm came, blew up our tent, and
exposed her to wind and rain til we could re-set. Whereupon she took cold,
settled on her lungs, bled at the lungs, and went down in quick consumption.

³I lay by her four days while we were working the first wagon road down
the south side of Snake River ever made. It was getting late, the company
could not lay by--And, [if] I had lay by alone, the Indians would have
murdered us all. These were time[s] that tried men¹s souls. I had a drest
Elk hide; sewed it in a frame, swung it over the top of my wagon box (or
bed) so as to spring, laid her in it and hawled her over rock, up and down
hill, for seven day[s] before she could dare have her head raised above a
level with her body. In going up or down hill I¹d stop and turn her head so
as to be the highest. I had a very small quantity of skunk cabbage roots,
one small 2 oz phial of Lobelia cough drops, and 1/4 oz phial of drops for
the palpitation of the heart. I sent around the different companies and got
an [ ] phial of honey, and the same amount of strong apple vinegar, and
had just enough skunk cabbage to make the vinegar and honey into a syrup.
This was all I could get and constituted my stock of medicine, and by a
judicious use of which I got her through.

³The greater part of my time I sat in the wagon and drove my team the
best I could, and some times lieing in the foreward end of my wagon. But my
team was very tractable or I never should have made it. After my wife began
to sit up a little in the wagon, one night my wagon upset, and broak her
breast bone desperately. But while she lay so low I sat up at night and
waited on her all alone, save one or two nights I had some help, And when I
would get to lie down at all, it was to lay cramped up across the wagon bed
by her head to assist her from strangling in coughing.

³And when she got a little better, all three of my children were taken
down with camp fever, and myself unwell. My children all three lost their
reason, and became delirous for nearly or quite two weeks so that I had to
hold my ox whip in one hand, my youngest boy with the other hand to keep him
from jumping out of the wagon, and wait upon his sick mother the best I
could as my team moved on--But fortunately my other two old children were
quiet during their delirium. But as they recovered from their fever, they
gradually recovered their reason.

³But when I got to the Dalles on Columbia river, I took water on an old
[ ] boat manned by two sailors and a lot of Canaccas. In a storm we
drifted on a sand beach and the Canaccas packed out the passengers on their
backs. The Boat, thus lited, got off and left the crew to wander down its
brushy shore the best they could to where the boat could land, not knowing
where that could be.

³Here was I, labouring under a severe attack of sun pain, almost
staggering as I went. My sick wife unable to walk a single step, or to
stand alone without help, my eldest son (fourteen years old) could walk
alone. My other son and daughter could walk one on each side of me by
holding to the skirts of my coat.

³It all depends upon my feeble effort. But thank God . . . despair
seemed to nerve my tottering frame. I took my wife upon my back, a child
hanging to each skirt of my coat, and wandering through the wet weeds and
brush for a quarter of a mile, down the river bank where I found the boat in
what is called the pine stumps (old pine stumps projecting out in the river
towards its northern shore probably twelve miles above the Cascade Falls).

³We found the boat, cabled between three of these old stumps with long
ropes, dancing upon the waves, near
enough the shoar for a long plank to reach for a walkway, a brisk fire
burning on the shoar. All hands dried--got a bite to eat--the rain and high
winds ceast with only a brisk gale down stream.

³We again set sail, hoisted a full sail of canvas, and went down the
river with terrible speed, without the aid of oars. Our sailors, being
hardened to danger, had just escaped one, were now heedless of fresh danger
and were chanting their sailor song, when of a sudden, one of them roared,
Œ(D----it) Jack, here is the Cascade falls!¹

³We were then in quite a brisk suck or draw of the head of those
terrific falls, and [in] about the middle of the main Columbia River- -where
boats never dare to venture, but hug close the north shore along a kind of
slough, or bay. Full sail was spread and posting at fearful rate, and
neither time or chance to haul up our sail, it being a temporary rigging. I
thought that I never heard swearing till then--The sailors cursed each
other, and one passenger arose to his feet and cursed the sailors and
Canaccas to work for life. The women aboard (three families) began to

³I alone remained calm and quiet, though my end had come and within five
minutes more must walk the eternal shoars. I could not bear to hear the
screams of the women. I therefore busied myself in telling them that in
about five minutes more all would be all right with us. They took my word
for it and calmed down, but during this time the boat had made its third
half wheel in the current and by aid of a long and stout steering oar had
twice be[e]n righted, and this time, all the men, and all the oars never
could have righted her again, the current had become so strong.

³About three hundred emigrants camped at the head of the falls stood
gazing to see us perish in a few moments more. But thanks to him who holds
the winds in his own right hand, just as the boat made its last half wheel,
the wind changed from a brisk gale down the river to a half wheel, and to a
mighty blast that seemed to pour over the high mountain on the south,
catching a full and square pull upon our sale and drove that boat across
that current, right direct to the landing, while every joint of the boat
creaked under its pressure.

³And as soon as the boat landed, that gale of wind became as calm as
summer¹s eve. Infidels may mock and skeptics sneer, but I am satisfied that
the hand of a special providence--that of the supreme ruler of the
universe--was visibly displayed in our miraculous delivery. But,
never-withstanding the wind calmed, the rain soon de[s]cended and we there
all sick and drenched in the rain, and my only chance for escape was the
next day to get hand, through charity, to carry my sick family five miles
round a difficult path to the foot of the falls where lay a small boat in
waiting to carry us down. A number of men took pity upon my situation and
promised next day to carry my family down.

³But that night incessant rain rendered a part of the trail slippery and
dangerous, and they informed me that it was impossible. And then I got my
household effects which were but few, carried 3/4 of a mile to the next
portage which would let us past the worst of the rapids, and, where with
great risk and danger, Indian canoes sometimes past over the lower rapids.
I again carried my sick wife on my back 3/4 of a mile. One man had the
kindness to carry a chair along to set her on til I would rest, and some
others led my children down.

³I there chartered a Chanuke canoe-- large and eligantly made--and three
flat head Indians to take us over those lower rapids. About three hundred
souls stood upon the shore and begged me that if my sick [wife and children]
had to go, for God¹s sake for me, as I was yet able to walk, to go around by
land and not expose my own life. I answered, ŒNever! Never will I put my
wife and children aboard of where I am afraid, or refuse to bear their
company. If they perish I have nothing to live for.¹

³I verily believed that the hand that had saved us at head, could save
us at the foot of those fearful cascades, when duty to my sick wife and
children bade me use all means to get them shelter. They bade us farewell,
as many thought for the last time.

³I sat upright on a trunk and held my watch in my hand, and our average
speed was 2 1/2 minutes to the mile. Twice or more, I heard the grate and
felt the rub of the canoe along the edge of large rocks concealed in the
broken wave and foam of the falls--And I am yet confident that one inch or
two more to that side would have [d]riven our canoe to splinters and have
left us food for seals.

³Those Indians worked with paddles or small loose hand oars, two in the
bow and one in the stern. The[y] struck together by a kind of song designed
to time their oars. They outran the current, and there were about three, I
believe, most terrific breakers to cross, occasioned by hidden rocks; and
the water shot directly up and over to some h[e]ight and as they approached
one of these terrible breakers, the[y] got their speed to its highest pitch
and would scream, just as they struck it, in the most terrific manner. And
as the canoe would rise and make its plunge downwards, it seemed as if it
would jerk from under me.

³My wife and children were laid down, and I gave them something to grip
in their hands so that they should not grab the sides of the canoe and throw
it out of balance. I held one hand over my wife¹s eyes so that she should
not see the danger, being week and feeble. I shall never be able-- so to
speak--to even pay a slightest interest upon the debt of grattitude which I
owe the invisible hand of him who made the universal worlds and rules the
powers that be, for his manifest delivery from Columbia cascade falls. When
we landed safe, one of our Indian deliverers patted me heavily between the
shoulders and called me brave man. But as I then did, I now still
do--charge it to necessity and not to any innate bravery of mine. I paid
them two or three shirts for their services.

³Suffice it here to say that I shipped aboard a small boat below [the
rapids] and landed safe (after some more perils) three miles above Fort
Vancouver. . .

³I worked my way up country, lived from fall to harvest near Shampoeig
[Champoeg] in Chehalem Valley, worked for the Old Hudson Bay French who all
had squaw wives and half breed families, with one American as a neighbor.
Then moved up into Linn County on Santiam River. . .

March 14, 1849 Sarah (Coon) Miller, wife of S. W. Miller was born near Peoria, Linn County, Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

April 17th, 1850, Samuel W. Miller, son of Abraham Miller, Jr. and Julia Ann his wife was born Linn County, Oregon Territory. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

August 7, 1853 Nancy Ann Miller, Daughter of Abraham Miller, Jr., and Julia Ann, his wife was married to John Weiss Sunday 10:00 AM, by Jacob R. Miller, Justice of the Peace, at her parent's residence , Linn County, Oregon Territory, near Syracuse. (Source Abraham Miller Jr. Bible)

September 15, 1854 Abraham Phillip Weiss, son of John Weiss and Nancy Ann Miller his wife was born Lane County, Territory of Oregon.(Source Abraham Miller Jr. Bible)

April 20th 1855, George J. Miller, son of Abraham Miller, Jr. and Julia Ann his wife, died Lane County, Oregon Territory- Died by bleeding at the lungs in the last stages of consumption (Tuberculosis), patiently awaiting his change in the hope of a blessed immortality beyond the grave. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)


Little Bethel Church, near Millersburg, was organized on November 12, 1848, in the Syracuse district, now known as Millersburg, at the home of Exum Powell,
with six charter members, viz., William Allphin, John T. Crooks, Abraham Miller Jr., Exum Powell, Elizabeth Powell, and Louisa McClain. Elder Joseph Turnidge
became the first pastor. The name of the church was shortened to Bethel, in 1868. The church met in later years at Tallman, Oregon.


Adams, Allen, Allphin, Balknap, Basset, Beebe, Blackburn, Clymer, Coffey, Coon, Crooks, Doughton, Dyer, Fisher, Fountain, Froman, Garrison, George,
Gilmore, Gregg, Groshong, Hall, Hanserd, Hargett, Harris, Hockensmith, Horner, Jacobs, McLain, Miller, Morrow, Payne, Piburn, Pitchford, Powell, Rose, Smith,
Stout, Turnidge, Watkins, Williams (incomplete due to loss of records).

Old Stuff and New
Albany Democrat-Herald- October 24, 1925

A book of church records from Linn County more than a half century ago has now made it's way back to it's native heath, and is loaned for the examination of local historians. It consists of 162 big pages of the finest imaginable script in pen and ink, and some of the pages boast as high as 500 words of tiny but distinct handwriting. The Volume is the work of Abraham Miller, Jr., whose remarkable Orthography and ornate pen and ink decorations also adorn numerous loose manuscripts in the book. The records consist of preamble and constitution, lists of members, articles of faith, rules of decorum, minutes and communications.

Miller was the guiding spirit of the "Little Bethel Church of Regular Predestinarians of Old School Baptists." With his family he came to Oregon in 1847. In the following year the church above named was organized in the Millersburg district of Linn County at the home of Exum Powell.

Because of it's various wanderings through out southern Oregon, this church became popularly known as "The Church Which Traveled."

NOTE: (Source: Letter from F. C.Holt to: ?)

The wedding shirt made by Mary Little for her wedding to Abraham Miller, Sr. is on display at Daughters of the American Revolution at Champoeg Park, Oregon. Also a bonnet belonging to Nancy Miller, wife of S. T. Jones. Also on display is a quilt made by Mary Little in 1823.

1857-1863 Abraham Miller, Jr. was Linn County Superintendant of Schools. (Source: Illustrated Historical Map- Marion and Linn Counties, Oregon, Edgar William & Co. 1878)

April 28, 1858, Julia Ann Morgan dies, Miller Homestead, Antelope, Linn, Oregon, USA (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

January 19, 1861 Abraham Miller, Jr. married in Linn, Oregon, Usa (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

To: Elizabeth Crowley Dagley (widow of Joseph Turnidge) b:
d: May 29, 1898 in Antelope Creek, near Climax, Jackson, Oregon, Usa
Burial: May 30, 1898 Miller Homestead, Antelope Creek, near Climax, Jackson, Oregon

February 22, 1861: Daily Oregonian, Page 3
Married: In Linn County, 19th Instant, by E. C. McClain, Esq., Mr. Abraham Miller, Jr. and Mrs Elizabeth Turnage.

Elizabeth Crowley (Dagley)was previously married to Reverend Joseph Turnage:

Hamot writes: "This is a brief history of Joseph Warren Turnidge in connection with the early Primitive Baptist Church in Oregon. He was the first regular Baptist preacher to preach in Linn County, Oregon and was a close friend and associate with one of Oregon's most celebrated and spectacular preachers of the Pacific Coast, Joab Powell. Joseph W. Turnidge preceded Joab Powell to Oregon by eight years, he having arrived in Oregon, December 25th, 1846 and Joab came in 1852 [Elder William Simpson arrived in Oregon on 24th of October 1846, two months before Elder Turnidge]. "Elder Joseph Turnidge was a staunch Baptist of the Old primitive faith. He founded the Little Bethel Church near Jefferson, Oregon in 1849. He was pastor of this church for eight years, or shortly before the time of his death in 1857. He preached there once a month and filled other pulpits on the remaining Sundays. He was paster of the church at Sodaville, Oregon and he and Joab Powell would often exchange pulpits. Their friendship began in the state of Missouri. Elder Turnidge began his ministerial career three years before he left that state. At one time he filled the pulpit of Joab Powell (when the Baptist church was situated at Conser), the present station of that name, during Joab's absence. Mr. Turnidge was at this time pastor of both the Sodaville church and Little Bethel. This little church was destined to have many trials and tribulations. The troubles which had followed this church of Regular Baptist, from the early days of the Colonies, in the "Old South" and thence to Missouri, followed like a fire brand and struck in Oregon, and split the Little Church of Bethel asunder. It was still the two factions, one favoring the Sunday schools and foreign missions and the other side standing like a solid rock, for what they considered the original teachings of the Old School Baptist. In some of the churches, it was said, that the members walked out of the church, and brushed the dust from their feet as they walked out of the door. A feeling of hatred sprang up between the two factions, which, to a great extent, continued for over 50 years. In many instances, it divided families; brother against brother, father against son, mother against daughter, friendships of years standing were broken. This trouble between the churches followed the pioneers of the Primitive Baptist to the then wilderness of Oregon, for it was in the stirring times of Indian warfare, when these Pilgrims came to the land where 'rolls the Oregon.' There were numerous colonies here when Joseph Turnidge, the preacher arrived; but the villages were far apart. The Indians were hostile and in many sections of the territory, traveling was not safe. Danger lurked on every side, but nothing daunted this faithful minister, Joseph Turnidge, journeyed from place to place to preach the Word. Little Bethel Church was named in honor of the Little Bethel Church of Lincoln County, Missouri where Elder Joseph Turnidge began preaching the Gospel three years prior to his coming to the great northwest. Articles of faith of the Spoon River, Illinois church of primitive Baptist were adopted. The eleventh article read as follows: "We believe the Mission system, Sunday school and Temperance societies, to be unauthorized by the Word of God, and 'consequently productive of evil,' and as such, we declare a non-fellowship with them, in all their branches." "It was in the year of the first discovery of gold in California that the settlers of the Syracuse District of Linn County (since named Millersburg) organized with the following members: "William Allphin, John Crooks, Abraham Miller Jr, Exumisa Powell and Elizabeth Powell and LOUISE (CROWLEY) McCLAIN (daughter of Judge Samuel Crowley and Susan McInnish, see records elsewhere). John Crooks was the first deacon and Joseph Turnidge was the first pastor, although itinerant preachers, traveling from other districts farther north, often preached at this church. "The meetings were held in the homes of the settlers, until the building of the first meeting house. Elder Joseph Turnidge at this time also had the pastorate of the primitive Baptist Church, in the Forks of the Santiam. There were no towns in this vicinity at this time (1848), except the town of Syracuse, founded by Milton Hall who operated the Ferry on the Santiam River. "According to the minutes, the Little Bethel Church continued to be disrupted by strife and dissensions, by each faction claiming to be "The Church" until the membership was so reduced, that in the late sixties they split into two factions and decided to dissolve. They finally decided on a different plan of action. They decided that those members who so desired could leave the country and take the church with them, whole those desiring to remain, should receive letters of dismissal and they empowered George Miller Jr., and his wife Elizabeth (the former wife of Elder Joseph Turnidge, who had died prior to this time), to take the records and go wheresoever they desired to go. On Saturday before the fourth Sunday in June 1870, they called for any business which might be brought before the church. In the meantime the little church of Linn County had moved from its former home to a strange land, east of the Cascades, called Pine Opening. They took the church records with them, and went by way of Barclay, or Barlow route east of the mountains. The town is now known as Antelope, Oregon [in Wasco County on the John Day River, near border of Jefferson and Wheeler Counties]. The old records have the following entry: "Pine Opening, Cascade Mountains. Saturday before the fourth Sunday in June, 1870, church did not organize for business, owing to the inclemency of the weather, and other circumstances, attending our travel. /s/ A. Miller Jr, Clerk." "In the month of July, the church finally found a place to anchor from its travels. Another entry states that the place of meeting was at Langels Valley, head of Lost River, Oregon. There were but three remaining members of the church. A. Miller Jr., was chosen as clerk and to act as moderator, and as moderator and clerk, he reported that just previous to the time the Little Bethel Church started on its long journey, Brother Richard Miller back in Linn County, had been excluded on account of hard sayings against the church. "...It was late in 1871 that Little Bethel settled down in Southern Oregon. Meetings were held in Woody's School house, at Bear Creek Valley in Jackson County. "The last entry is dated September 1885, when the church met again at Chimney Rocks school house, and provided that a branch of the church should be formed on Williams Creek in Josephine County. As to what eventually became of Little Bethel Church remains a mystery. (This information was taken from the files of the Oregonian and other sources by Alice Turnidge Hamot).

From the minutes of the Siloam Association of Oregon, the following: "The Siloam Association of Regular Baptist was constituted on Friday before the first Sunday in October 1849 with only three churches, Hillsboro, Molalla, and Little Bethel. Elder William Simpson was the only Elder present." Elder Isam Cranfill was prevented from being present, having been badly burned in trying to put out a fire that had caught in his mill dam. Elder Joseph Turnidge was at the time in the goldfields of California:

RECORDS FOUND "An Old book Reveals the Origin of Little Bethel Church by Everett Earle Stanard: A book of church records which has been lost for years has made its way back to Linn County, its native heath, and is loaned for the examination of local historians. It contains the minutes of one of the very first churches to be organized in this county, namely the Little Bethel Church of regular Old School Baptist. The church was founded November 26, 1848 at the home of Exum Powell, in the Syracuse district, now known as Millersburg country, in Northwestern Linn County. Probably the Santiam, or Sodaville church, was the only church previously organized in this county. The first entry in the volume is dated November 12, 1848, at which time prospective members of the church met at Powell's house, and took steps for organization. They sent to the Santiam church for an organizer and on November 26, Elder Joseph Turnidge from that church and ELDER WILLIAM SIMPSON from another part of the state came to assist in the founding of the church. The charter members were William Allphin, John T. Crooks, Exum Powell, Abraham Miller Jr., Elizabeth Powell and Louisa McClain..." (60th edition of "The Albany Democrat-Herald" of Nov 1925)

The following records were abstracted from "The Trail Blazers," Historical and Genealogical Record of Early Pioneer Families of Oregon, Missouri and the South by Alice Turnidge Hamot, Portland, Oregon, 1935 (p.129):

Family of Joseph W. Turnidge and Elizabeth Dagley. William Turnidge, son of Michael and Sarah Turnidge, was born 1792 in Green County, North Carolina and died in Ray County, Missouri, 1875, aged 82 years, 9 months and 14 days when he died. William was buried in the Old Crowley cemetery near Rayville along with his second wife Cornelia. He, like his father were primitive Baptist Ministers. The father, Michael Turnidge's estate was probated 1832 in Lafayette County, Missouri (Bk A:125). Elder William Turnidge married Martha Fletcher, a native of North Carolina, later of Rutherford County, Tennessee. They migrated to the state of Missouri about 1812, settling in Lilliard County (now Lafayette County). A few years later he moved to "Old Blufton" Camden Township. It was in the year of 1832, that Elder William Turnidge moved to the Rayville section and entered land there. His old house was still standing in the 1930s and was being used as a granary. The house was made of oak and walnut. The beams underneath were 12 by 12. The lath was hand made, and of hard wood. All the parts were mortised together. There was a built-in cupboard in the kitchen, two bedrooms up stairs, with a winding stairway in the corner of the room. There were three rooms downstairs. The house was considered the best in Ray County at this time and was in constant use as a dwelling until about 1910, when it was converted into a barn and granary by its owner. The old chimney in the big room down stairs in each end of the room, was still there. The house was sold in 1875 to William Turnidge's friend, Guy Smith, whose daughter, Mrs. Willis Crowley, was living there in 1930 (The Trail Blazers, p.47-48) The children of Elder William Turnidge (1792-1875) and his first wife Martha Fletcher were:

1) John Turnidge, b. 23 May 1816 in Ray Co, Mo; d. Polk Co, Oregon in 1886; married about 1836 to Ruthama Crowley, b. 1818 in Ray Co; d. 22 May 1887 in Polk Co, Or, daughter of Jeremiah Crowley and Polly Cary. John Turnage (Turnidge) and Ruthama emigrated to Polk County, Oregon in 1874 and lived at Dixie (now Rickreall). John was a primitive Baptist minister. 2) Joseph Warren Turnidge, m. 1/ Midian Gant; 2/ Elizabeth Dagley [continued]
3) Jesse Turnidge married Easter Odell
4) Harrison Turnidge married Rebecca Seek
5) Michael Turnidge
6) Eliza Turnidge married Samuel Colly
7) Martha Turnidge
8) Mary Turnidge married Henry Shirley

Elder William Turnidge married 2/ Cornelia Weddington and had one son:
9) Samuel Turnage married Nancy Turner.

Elder Joseph Warren Turnidge, son of William Turnidge and Martha Fletcher, was born 19 January 1819 in Howard County, Missouri and died 18 May 1857, predeceasing his aged father in Missouri. An obituary notice of Joseph's death was published in the papers of the Siloam Association. He had died near, what at that time was Santiam City, from effects of the illness he had contracted on the sailing vessel returning from California and from exposure to the elements during his duty as a circuit rider and was buried in Millersburg Cemetery, about four miles south of Jefferson, a half-mile from what is now the state highway. His obituary was written by Elder James Bassett: Santiam City, Oregon Territory, May 20, 1857, probably to Elders of Mill Creek Church in Holt County, Missouri.

Joseph W. Turnidge married 1/ Midian Gant who died along with her babe one year after their marriage. He then married 2/ in 1837 to Elizabeth Dagley, born 20 July 1822, daughter of James Dagley and Dorcas Crowley, daughter of John Crowley of Clay County, Missouri and his first wife Elizabeth McClain, daughter of Thomas McClain of Smith River in Henry County, Virginia. The name of McClain is often found in the old records as McLin, etc. [William McLin of Oregon may be from this family]. After Joseph died, Elizabeth Dagley Turnidge married 2/ Abraham Miller Jr., and removed to Southern Oregon. Elizabeth Dagley Turnidge was a cousin of Mary Kimsey Simpson, therefore Elder Joseph Turnidge and Elder William Simpson were related by marriage.

Children of Joseph W. Turnidge and Elizabeth Dagley: 1) Emily Jane Turnidge, b. 1 Feb 1839 2) William Jasper Turnidge, b. 6 Jun 1841 & lived his entire life near Mill City, Or. 3) Martha Elizabeth Turnidge, b. 20 Dec 1842 near Scio, Or at the home of her parents; d. 6 Aug 1867 at Adalaide, South Australia; m. Jan 1857 to James Bassett, b. 12 Jan 1824 in Kent, England; d. 7 Aug 1896 in Costa Rica, Central America. 4) Mary Ann Turnidge, b. 1 Oct 1844; m. 1/ 7 Oct 1858 to Robert F. Wood, b. 5 Mar 1833; d. 8 Nov 1886, son of Edmund Wood; Mary m. 2/ Thomas Kelso, no children. 5) Frances Ellen Turnidge, b. 12 Jan 1847 6) James Curl Turnidge, b. 22 Mar 1849 near Scio, Oregon, where he lived until 1875, when he moved to Modoc Co, Ca. In that year he was sent to Reno, Nevada to pilot and escort some old pioneers of Missouri to Goose Lake Valley. In this party were Johnson Mulkey and family, Mr. and Mrs. John Briles, Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Amick, all of whom preceded Mr. Turnidge to the great beyond. Mr. Turnidge's parents crossed the plains with the Crowleys of Polk County, Oregon. James C. Turnidge married 3 times. 7) John Raymond Turnidge, b. 24 Jan 1852, m. 4 Oct 1871 to Deda Ann Powell in Marion Co, Or. 8) Eliza Eveline Turnidge, b. 27 Jan 1854 9) Joseph Lane Turnidge, b. 3 Feb 1856 on his father's Donation Land Claim near Scio; d. 31 Aug 1919 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. W.F. Lovering in Raymond, Wa., and was buried on the old home place in Oregon. Joseph m. 2 Oct 1876 in Linn County to Mary F. Honors.

Phillip Christian Miller

Child of Elizabeth Dagley and 2/ Abraham Miller Jr: 1) Philip Christian Miller, b. 25 Nov 1862 in Willamette Valley, Ore; d. 7 Jul 1886 in Ashland, Jackson Co, Or; m. 15 Aug 1883 in Ashland to Mary Ella Howell, b. 30 Jan 1865 in Tallant, Jackson Co, Or; d. 1 Sep 1955 in Long Beach, L.A. Co, Ca; buried Sunnyside Cemetery in Long Beach. They had one son: 1. Leonard Earl Miller, b. 21 May 1884

"Joseph Turnidge with his family left their home at Oregon, Holt County, Missouri about the 18th of May 1846 and came with the caravan leaving Liberty, Missouri. The emigrants came by way of the "southern route." Their train was the first to come through Jackson County, Oregon. They went by the compass to "Grave Creek" and "Jump off Joe," which places were named from incidents occurring in their train. They made their roads as they went. They came to Cow Creek via Wolf Creek, and as they came down the long hill one of the Crowleys died and was buried on the creek (Leland Crowley, daughter of Thomas McClain Crowley and Catherine Linville. Thomas McClain Crowley had died enroute to Oregon and Catherine married 2/ James Fulkerson). A brush fire was made over this grave and the cattle were turned out so their tramping about would deceive the Indians as to the location of the grave. The wife and baby of the deceased Crowley (this was John Calvin Crowley and his wife), who died at the birth of her babe. They were married in Holt County, Missouri. [John] "Calvin Crowley died first, and the widow and babe died before they reached Eugene, Oregon. Calvin's sister, Leland, had died at Grave Creek, four miles north of Grants Pass. She was 16 years of age. She died two weeks before her father's death. Joseph W. Turnidge, with others, passed over this same route in 1849 on their way to the gold fields in California. They found her bones scattered about. They had been dug up by the Indians. They reburied them. Miles Vanderpool was the captain of this train which consisted of 100 wagons until it divided at Laramie, Wyoming, when about 30 wagons of which Joseph Turnidge was a member, came the New Route. This was the Applegate road, and this was the first train to come this way...Mr. Vanderpool, who started from Missouri with 100 head of sheep, lost the last of these at Rocky Point, two miles below Gold Hill, which the Indians drove away. Those savage red men were very troublesome. They kept sticking their heads above the rocks and watching every move the emigrants made. The travelers, who had become well night worn out, moved with all speed possible with their tired and weary oxen, for they feared trouble with the Indians at any time..." "The travelers finally reached Eugene, Oregon. Elizabeth [Dagley] Turnidge, who was in delicate condition, slept in a log cabin, owned by a Mr. Skinner...This was the first time she had slept in a house since leaving Missouri. She said one of the sweetest sounds she had ever heard was the rain pattering on the roof that night. "At Eugene, they were met by Captain Stilwell. They left their oxen, which were unable to make the rest of the trip, in care of the others, and made the rest of the way by pack train. Elizabeth Turnidge rode horse back with her daughter Mary [later Mary Kelso] in her lap and daughter Martha, who was four years of age, behind her. "They arrived in North Yamhill on Christmas Day, 1846, and the baby girl of Joseph and Elizabeth Turnidge was born at this place on 12 January 1847. They named her Frances. "They lived at North Yamhill the first winter. The following spring they went to Linn County and settled in the forks of the Santiam near Jefferson, Oregon, where Joseph took up a Donation Land Claim (No.147) of 640 acres. They had to stop at Thomas Munkers, with Harrison Turnidge (brother of Joseph, he died there and was buried in the old burying ground, where all the Munkers family were buried). He died of white swelling. "The land claim that Joseph took up, had a house on it, but no floors. They first built a corral to keep the cattle from straying, and then Mr. Turnidge went to the woods to hew out "puncheons" for the floor. When he failed to return for a considerable time, and the evening had grown late, his wife and their eldest son, fixed up a "tallow dip" and went to look for him. They feared he had been killed by the Indians, but they finally heard him calling. He had cut his knee with the adze and nearly bled to death. He stanched the wound with his shirt. His wife and son re-traced their steps and hunted up the oxen so they could bring him in. He did not walk a step for three weeks.

[DLC No.147: Joseph Turnidge, Linn County, b. 1819 Northwest Missouri; settled claim 1 Nov 1849 by affidavits of Simon P.C. Fleener, Joel Caluvan, Jesse H. Adams and John Stipp; married 20 Dec 1838 in Clay Co, Mo to Elizabeth Dagley].

"Joseph Warren Turnidge began preaching in Missouri in 1843. He helped to found the Little Bethel Church near Millersburg, Linn County, Oregon, and was its pastor for eight years or until his death [1857]. He preached every fourth Sunday at Little Bethel and also preached at Rickrael, Muddy, Waldo Hills, Oak Grove and in the Powell neighborhood. He was a fluent speaker and a fine singer. He was a wonderful Bible student and had an exceptionally good education for this time. He would never accept a cent for his preaching. He was industrious and a good provider for his family. He left them well provided for at his death. In May 1849, He decided to go to the gold fields in California and went by horse-back. He left San Francisco the following winter for the return trip home in a sailing vessel. The ship on which he took passage, lay for six weeks on the Pacific Ocean, during which time he suffered a very severe sickness of typhoid pneumonia. On his arrival in Portland he bought new clothing throughout and in changing to lighter garments he took a severe cold from which he never recovered and on May 18th, 1857 he died from the effects of this illness. He died on his donation claim near Jefferson, Oregon and was buried in the Little Bethel cemetery. The day before his death, he sang in a clear, beautiful voice "When I can read my title clear to mansions in the skies."

The following is a brief account published in The Early History of Oregon by George Himes, president of the Pioneer Association and reprinted in The Trail Blazers by Hamot, pp.139-140 "Emigration of 1846 reached Oregon by different routes. When they left Missouri there were about 200 souls in the caravan. At this time California was beginning to divide with Oregon. At Fort Hall about half of the emigrants took the Southern Route; they traveled down the Humboldt River and crossed the Sierra Mountains into Nevada, thence on to the Sacramento Valley. About 150, with 42 wagons went by way of this new route traveling by way of Klamath Lake, Rogue River and the Umpqua Valley. They made only about 20 miles a day; grass was scarce and watering places far apart. The road led through a grassless and waterless land desert, 50 to 20 miles in width. There was much suffering. Men, women and children were compelled to go barefoot over burning sands and cinderous rocks; to climb timber summits and to ford roaring torrents as they traveled on their weary way. Their consuming thirst was at last relieved when they reached the springs and streams of the Sierras; but their gaunt hunger paralleled their earlier thirst. At last, however, man by man, family by family, the worn emigrants straggled down the Siskiyous into the Rogue River Valley, almost without cattle or wagons or clothing. Welcomed to the land of their pilgrimage only by the chill rains of Oregon in midwinter. "Taken all in all, this was the most shadowed page in the history of Oregon immigration, and has left more acrimonious and bitter discussion and heart burnings, than any other page recorded in Oregon's history. "The Turnidges and CROWLEYS arrived at Eugene, Oregon about the 15th of December. Five in the Crowley family died on the way. Harrison Turnidge who came from Holt County, Missouri with the train from Liberty [Clay County], Missouri, spent the winter of 1846 in a cabin with James L. Collins who came from Warren County, Missouri with the train from Liberty (The historical Skinner cabin at Eugene, Oregon). They found the cabin unoccupied and moved in. The winter was severe and Harrison Turnidge was sick the greater portion of the time and it developed upon Mr. Collins, then a mere boy to shoulder his gun and wade through the water in the slough, and streams, often waist deep, in order to reach good hunting ground on the other shore and secure sufficient game to meet the necessities of himself and his unfortunate companion.

"Jesse Boone, who crossed the plains with the Turnidges and Crowleys, a descendant of Daniel Boone, died in Toledo, Oregon in 1923.

Joseph Warren Turnidge married Elizabeth Dagley, daughter of Joseph Dagley and Dorcas Crowley Dorcas Crowley was daughter of John Crowley and Elizabeth McClain John Crowley son of Samuel Crowley and Elizabeth Strong


From the Miller Cemetery website:

The Miller Cemetery received its name from a very prominent Miller family, or group of families, who settled in this neighborhood in the year 1848. The heads, or elders of these families were Abraham Miller Sr., born in 1794, and George Miller Sr., born in 1785. The latter was the father of twenty-four children, therefore the Miller tribe became very prominent in this neighborhood. They gave their name to the cemetery as well as to the small country community of Millersburg.

George Miller Sr., and his wife, Mary Ann Miller, deeded the land for this cemetery on September 24, 1857. It is apparent, however, that the ground had been used for burial purposes considerably previous to that date. The deed given by the Millers reads, in substance, as follows- "George Miller Sen., and Wife To Little Bethel Church of Regular Baptists. "For the purposes of building a meeting house and burying ground." "Consideration one dollar and the respect they have for said church." [NB: followed by a description of the land...]

The trustees of the above Little Bethel Church at the date given above were Exum Powell, Abraham Miller, Jr., and John Crooks. The history of the church, being linked closely with that of the cemetery, and besides being most interesting, is here quoted at considerable length:

Little Bethel Church of Regular Predestinarians of Old School Baptists was organized at the home of Exum Powell, in the Millersburg district in 1848. The Miller families and especially Abraham Miller Jr., were guiding spirits in the organization. At that time it is believed that there was only one other church organization in Linn County, namely, the Santiam Baptist Church at Sodaville.

This new church received its name from Little Bethel Church in Lincoln County, Missouri. Its articles of faith were adopted from those of a church at Spoon river, Illinois. Their doctrines were most conservative; The eleventh article reads as follows: We believe the mission system, Sunday schools and temperance societies to be unauthorized by the Word of God. And as such we declare a non-fellowship with them all in their various branches."

At its organization the church consisted of the following members- William Alphin, John T. Crooks, Abraham Miller Jr. Exum Powell, Elizabeth Powell and Louisa McClain. John T. Crooks was the first clerk and Abraham Miller Jr. the first deacon. Elder Joseph Turnidge became the first pastor, although the first sermons here were preached by itinerants from further down the valley. Meetings were first held in the homes of settlers. Indeed, although the present cemetery plot was deed "For the purpose of building a meeting house and burying ground", it appears from local tradition that no church building was ever actually erected here but that the services continued to be held in private homes and school-houses only.

Little Bethel Church seemed from its beginning to have been divided into factions by internal strife. The slavery question, among others, greatly bothered them. Late in the 1860's it was split into two factions each claiming to be "The Church". By 1870 the membership was so reduced that there was talk of dissolving but in the another, and unique plan was evolved. Certain members of the church were planning to leave the neighborhood and move to the gold mines of Southern Oregon. These moving families were permitted to go, but to take the church with them, while those who remained behind were given letters of dismissal. This unique church procedure empowered George Miller Sr., Abraham Miller Jr., and Elizabeth, the latter's wife, to take the church and church records with them wherever the went.

Since the Church, from that time on, left Linn County, its history is immaterial here. Enough to say that it held sway thereafter at such various and distant places as "Pine Opening, Cascade Mountains", "Woody's Schoolhouse", "Bear Creek Valley, Jackson County," "Southern Oregon", "Antelope Schoolhouse", "Jackson County", "Hockensmith's Schoolhouse", :root's new Meetinghouse", "Bish's Schoolhouse", "Plimire's Schoolhouse", "Bell's Schoolhouse", "Antelope", "Chimneyrock", "Phoenix", and "Ashland". In 1885 a branch church was organized on Williams Creek in Josephine County.

Because of its various wanderings throughout southern Oregon this church became popularly known as "The Church Which Traveled".

Before leaving Linn County the records show that the services of this church were held in the following places- "Exum Powell's home" (where it was organized), "the Forks of the Santiam", "Dickey's Schoolhouse", "Tharp's Schoolhouse", "Allphin's Schoolhouse". Dickey's Schoolhouse was in the Scio region. Allphin's and Tharp's Schoolhouses were in the Millersburg region.

Preachers who held forth before the little Bethel congregations in its Linn county days were Turnidge, Simpson, Gregg, Stipp, Cranfill, Beebe, and Abraham Miller Jr.

The first burial in the Miller Cemetery, according to local tradition, was the above Elder Turnidge, first pastor of the church. No stone marks his grave and the facts could not be positively verified. The first burial of record was William McClain who died in 1850, the second burial of record was Mary, wife of Jacob M. Miller on Sept. 16, 1855 and the third of record was Mary Ann Miller in December 23, 1857. This last was the wife of George Miller Sr., the man who gave the land for the cemetery. Her death occurred only ninety days after she signed the deed of conveyance.

Early birth dates are numerous in this cemetery. Those found of especial note, and all occurring in the 1700's are- George Miller, 1785. Abraham Miller, 1794. William McClain, 1796. David Bensley, 1799.

The present size of this cemetery and the distribution of burials indicates that there have been late additions to the original plot. The original land deeded by the Millers probably comprised Sections 1 and 2, while sections 3 and 4, increasing the area almost twice, are as yet but little filled.


Nov. 29, 1868 Samuel W. Miller, was married Sunday 11 O'clock, to Sarah C. Coon, at the residence of John Weiss, Syracuse, Linn County Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

Sep 24, 1869, Cora Jane Miller, daughter of S. W. and Sarah (Coon) Miller his wife was born Syracuse, Linn County, Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

August 7, 1873 Thomas Franklin, son of S.W. and Sarah [Coon] Miller his wife was born near Eugene City, Lane Co. Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

Sept. 11th 1874, George Miller, Sr. Dies. Abraham Miller, Jr. writes: "When he himself died in Oregon he was in his ninetieth year; would ride all day on horseback, as strait as a boy. He died of a pain in the eye and head, lingered about three weeks, and died Sept. 11th 1874."

September 18, 1874, The Albany Register, Albany Oregon,
Died- September 11th 1874, George Miller Sen. aged 91 years three months. Mr. Miller was sick almost three weeks, and up until the hour of his death was in full possession of his all his facilities. He was buried on Saturday, 13th, last near P. V. Morris' place.
(Source of the above, photocopy from Charlotte C. Powell,

Signs of the Times? Date: after Feb 9, 1880

Obituary Notices
Elder G. Beebe & Son

Dear Editors

It becomes my duty once more to send you the obituary of another of the members of the Bethel Church (Note: Albany, Linn County, Oregon) who fell asleep in Jesus on the 15th of January 1880, aged 73 Years 14 Days. Sister Mary MILLER, the subject of this obituary was born in Wayne County Indiana Jan 1, 1807. her maiden name was Mary Little.

She was married to Abraham Miller probably while living in that county. The time is not exactly known. (Note from KZ: They were Licensed in Wayne County, Indiana on the last day of December in the year 1821, marriage on 4 January 1822). She, with her husband and other relatives at a later date moved to Montgomery County and settled near the city of Crawfordsville, where they lived for some years, and then moved to Mercer County, Illinois in September 1834, and settled in Sugar Grove on the Edwards River. Shortly after this time the church called Edwards river was constituted and sister MIller united with this church by experience and baptism about the year 1840 and was baptized by Elder Joseph Jones the pastor of said church. Here she lived, and was beloved by all who knew her and her house was a home for all the members. Her husband never made a profession of religion but was a warm friend of the Old Baptist cause and very readily assisted in making all the friends comfortable while at his house as the writer can testify. In the year 1847 the Edwards River Church was dissolved and the members were all lettered out by a presbytery from other church. As a goodly number of the members were about moving to the then territory of Oregon, Sister Miller and her family followed to oregon in 1851 and settled that fall on the place where she died July 24, 1852. (sic) She united with this church which was then as now under the pastorate of Elder John Stipp. In this church she lived until the day of her death, a devoted and beloved member. For many yers before her death she and her husband became afflicted with inflammatory sore eyes which nearly depreived them of sight and enfeebled their whole system so that they could hardly get out from home. And to add to her afflictions, her husband, while trying to exercise some, walked out from the house a sthort distance and likely becoming tired, sat down on the railroad tracdt to rest; and being very hard of hearing, and partly blind, he was struck by the engine while passing north which knocked him from the track, mashed his left hip, broke his leg in two places and one arm, and fractured his head. He lived but a few hours, dying about 7 o'clock in the evening of the 29th of December 1875, leaving our poor old sister a widow, to mourn the loss of her beloved companion who was then 82 years. She has survived him for a little over 4 years. It has pleased our heavenly Father to take her home to himself, to enjoy that rest prepared for the children of God. She was ready and willing to go and be at rest, free from pain and sorrow. This was her constant prayer, and we feel that she has answered the call, "Child your Father Calls, Come Home." Yours in the bonds of love, John T. Crooks. Millers(burg), Linn Co Oregon. Feb 9, 1880

1880 Census
Abraham Miller 68 Male Tennessee Farmer
Elizabeth 57 Female Missouri
Phillip S. 17 Male Oregon
Jacob 63 Male Indiana

March 18, 1880 (from postcard)

At home, March the 18th, 1880, Jackson County Oregon-
Dear Sam , I received your card in due time to answer it, I hope you will look over my past neglect and be assured that I will try to do better in the future. You are mistaken in we not sending you a letter since last spring, at all events I have since sent and so it is not certain that they did go as I directed them or not- be that as it may I am not to blame. So it seems to you I should, was in that matter, Yet I have not sent as many letters as I should have done., and I am getting a little older every day of my life & my old benumbed hand is getting more unsteady every day as you can see by my scribble. & I do think that you showed a little more Patience and make some allowance for old age. As you know I am under the necessity of writing so many private letters as well as many others for publication, it takes up all of my spare time to keep anything like up with myself in the manner of other writing. & aside from this I have so much work to do that you can't guess how it keeps me on the subject, to keep in sight of my object in view as the purpose to be carried out, Our house should be 24 feet square, cut up in suitable rooms, I yet have about 5,000 of the shingles to make, and a chimney to build, stone to get, & so on & so on. I have got the lumber all paid for and got the ground paid, most of the cattle and some little money I put on most of the lumber bill, and the building is paid, I paid that also in cattle, all but one little horse I put in @$40.00, I owe but little if anything to anybody. Rumel is building for me. It is a fit house, to be drest outside, ready for paint, except in the joints up & down. I have a few cattle left, only for my own use. may cow and calves, and other small culls. I have 4 head of horses- 3 working horses and one good hunting pony, but I do not hunt much any more. When I want a fresh bite of venison, Phillip generally goes after it, he is a good shot, but only kills deer as we need them, Caught one mealy-nosed bear, a cub, the largest cub I ever saw. He took it in my big steel trap. The bears killed a cow up at the head of the creek, on the top of the mountain, and they did not find it out soon enough til they had nearly quit using it. and they did not yet get the old one. We have had snow on the mountains all winter In the basin, where we live, it has been off and on all winter, It has been a dry winter and a good deal of clear weather, all our cattle have done rather better than of wet winters. Our stock has wintered out so far at East falls, dipping and shearing time we had a little over 300 sheep after dividing with Abe Weiss, our dogs killed a good many and the wolves also. Phillip shot the dogs and thirty-one wolves, and they even have some left. They are now much scattered . I don't know how many. (Last line Unreadable)

May 1, 1883 By the hand of Abraham Miller, Jr.

A Controversy between Elders Abraham Miller, Jr. and G. M. Thompson.

As published in the "Messenger of Peace" Macon City, Macon County, State of Missouri, L. E. Goodson Edition.

Written by Abraham Miller, Jr., May 1, 1883, who was born December 13th, 1811, in Cumberland, Doeriver, Carter County, East Tennessee, Son of George Miller and Lydia (Stover) his wife. Grand parents John Miller and Mary Keenes, his wife. And Chrisdtian Stover and Sarah Lymebok, his wife. Great grandfather's name Daniel Miller and his wife's maiden name Beeler. Great grand parents on both sides were High Dutch, and all from germany to the United States in the 17th Century. (Signed Abraham Miller Jr.)

This book with all it contains, together with all my other writings, manuscripts etc. I bequeath to my son Phillip Christian Miller, with the full priveledge to publish, either by himself, any of my heirs, or descendants, or any orderly old school baptist, or other well meaning person wishing to publish the same rthrough pure motives.
Head of the Antelope Creek, Chimney Rock, Jackson County, Oregon.
May 1st 1883
(signed ) Abraham Miller, Jr.
(The above is in a book hand scribed by Abraham Miller, Jr., page 222)

Friday August 16, 1883

At the residence of the groom's parents, on Antelope, August 15, by Rev. A. Miller, Mr. Phillip Miller and Miss M. Ella Howell, Daughter of John Howell of Ashland.

March 10, 1885

Last Will and Testament of Abraham Miller, Jr.

I, Abraham Miller, Jr., of the County of Jackson, and State of Oregon, being of sound mind mentally- yet in the decline of age and physical health, and knowing my stay upon earth is but short, and uncertain, do make, ordain, and hereby decree, this my Last Will and Testament, written with my own hand for the disposition of all my worldly possessions of both personal property and real estate (lands, &tc.) of which I shall or may be lawfully possessed at the time of my death, ordinise (sic) as follows to wit:

1st I make ordain and appoint my son, Phillip Christian Miller my sole and only executor of this my last will and testament. And I further order and decree that my said executor shall not be required to enter into any bonds whatever for the execution of his duty under this will and testament.

2nd, I further ordain and decree that my mortal remains shall be given up to my surviving family to be decently disposed of as they may see fit: with the following instructions and restrictions, which I order to be sacredly observed in the putting away of my mortal remains in their last resting place, at such place as they may see fit to celect (sic); in the following order: That my body shall be decently dressed in shirt and drawers in like manner as if I were going to bed; then roll my body up in a plain winding sheet, without any other shroud,; and placed in a plain coffin without any outside tapestry, covering, or trimmings. And that my burial shall be conducted with as little display, show, fashionable ceremony or formality as possible. And I forbid that any funeral oration or formal ceremony be had over my dead body, at my grave, or elsewhere; for I shall then have passed away into an eternal state of being, and shall have done with this world, and all its formal and useless follies: let any body repose in peace and silence in its natural element, the dust of the earth. While my spirit shall ascend to God who gave it.

3rd. I make, ordain and decree that my funeral expences (sic), doctor bills (if any), and all other just debts incurred during my last sickness and death be first paid punctually out of my worldly estate,

(Added in pencil) 4th. I order and decree that all other just debts shall be paid

[second page]

property either personal, or real estate: and that after all funeral expenses All just and lawful debts have been paid, as above provided; I bequeath the remainder of any said property both personal and real estate, as follows, to wit:
To my lawful wife Elizabeth I bequeath all of my said estate both personal and real, to have and to hold, during her natural life. And at her death, said property named shall be the property of Phillip Christian Miller, my son, -dependant however upon the following conditions, to wit: the said Phillip Christian Miller shall maintain, support and take special care of myself and his mother, the said Elizabeth, during their natural lives, treating us with kindness and respect as parents; then and in that case, he shall become in full possession of all the property, both personal and real, of which either myself or wife Elizabeth, (whichever of us shall outlive the other)may be possessed at our death. Ths is to be construed that if I should die first, that the property as above bequeathed to my wife Elizabeth shall descent (sic) to said Phillip Christian Miller, at her death as above stated, but in case I should outlive my said wife, then the property as above bequeathed shall continue in my own name until my death; and then shall descend to the said Phillip Christian Miller, as above provided the condition that he takes good care of and supports his said natural parents during their natural lives.
And I also bequeath out of the property bequeathed to my said wife- the sum of five dollars each: to my daughter, Nancy Ann (Weiss) and my son Samuel W. Miller to be paid them at my death: as I have heretofore given them each their respective portions of out of my estate at their marriage and after, and have taken their receipt for the same, which receipt will be found attached to this, my last will and testament, as evidence of that fact. And I also further decree that if my said wife shall outlive me, that my said son, Phillip Christian Miller shall take the care and charge, management and so forth of all the property, both personal and real, of which I shall die possessed, as himself and mother may agree upon, but said property, real and personal, shall be & remain in his said mother's right, until her death & then become his.
And I further decree & bequeath that all the money, or cash, that shall be loaned out [third page] at the time of my death, provided that my said wife outlives me, is hereby bequeathed to my said wife Elizabeth, to be used and controlled as her own.
And I further order and decree that my said son, Phillip Christian Miller, in taking charge of his said mother, shall accommodate her with the necessary and reasonable facilities of going to church, having preaching at home if she wish, and of entertaining such company as she may desire of religious folks- as our house has always been open to such.

And I hereby bequeath all my writings, both in transcript, & in printed form, to my son Phillip Christian Miller,- with a special charge to see that they are well taken care of, with the privilege granted him, to publish the same if he chooses to do so, and if he does not wish to publish as aforesaid, and such transcripts or printed matter should be called for by proper authority the Old School Regular Predestinarian Baptists (except such as are known in Oregon as the Gibson party in the division of Oregon Baptists) that they shall hereby full authority to publish the same,- provided they wish to have the same published through good motives- and also any of my children or descendants after them, shall have the same right to publish the same.
And now, having thus ordered my disposition of all my worldly possessions, I hereby revoke all former wills which have been made or heretofore executed by me: and I now commend my eternal all, myself and all those that I leave behind me, to the mercy and grace of Almighty God, in whom alone I trust- submitting my mortal remains to the dust from whence it came, and my spirit to God who gave it.

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of R. M. Fleming, G. W. Wyland

In testimony whereof, I hereunto subscribe my name and affix my seal for the purposes herein set forth, done this 10th day of March 1885

Abraham Miller, Jr.

April 30, 1886 Abraham Miller Jr., died on Antelope Creek, Jackson County Oregon and was Buried at that place cause- cancer of the stomache. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

Rev. Abraham Miller, one of the old settlers and a pioneer minister, died at his home on Antelope last Friday (Note: April 30, 1886- Jeff) after a lingering illness from gradual failure of his physical powers. He was buried on Sunday in a spot near his home which had been selected by himself, and a large concourse of friends and neighbors assembled to pay the last sad tribute of respect.
(Abraham Miller, Jr. Obituary, Ashland Tidings, Volume 2 Page 126)

May 2, 1886 Abraham Miller Jr. buried Miller Homestead, Antelope Creek, near Climax, Jackson, Oregon

May 15, 1886 Page 3, Column 3, Abraham Miller Jr. Obituary: Oregon Sentinel- Jacksonville, Oregon

January 8, 1888, Cora Jane Miller was married to Isaac M. Blevins, By G. W. Porter, J.P., at Drewsey, Harvey Co. State of Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

May 18, 1890, Lee Edward Blevins son of I. Miller and Cora J. Blevins born on a creek known as "Big Mudy" a tributary of middle fork of Medhuer River, Harvey County, Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

August 9, 1906, Sarah (Coon) Miller died 20 miles from Princeville, Crook County, Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

May 15, 1908, S. W. Miller married Martha Henderson, he served three terms as supervisor of Modoc County, California during his term of office the Board of Supervisors done a very fine job on the planning and construction of a new County Courthouse. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

July 5 1911, Lee Edward Blevins was married to Josephine O'Kelley at Princeville Oregon. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

Sept. 28 1930, Cora Blevins passed away at Princeville Ore., cause was pneumonia. She was buried at Mill Creek Cemetery. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

I.Miller died Oct 18th 1931, (Heart attack) (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

April 10th, 1940, S.W. Miller passed away at Willow Ranch, California (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

Oct 28, 1947 Lee Blevins passed away in Medford Ore and was buried in Grant's Pass, cause: Cancer of the stomache.He had four daughters Evelyn Irene born Nov 2 1913, died Feb 1 1936 (Diabetes) Violet June, born May 31-1916 Virginia Lee, born Dec 26, 1923; Olive Ruth Lorraine, born Dec 21, 1926. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

1947, Olive Ruth Lorraine Blevins married Frank Pruett to them was born Judy Lorraine Pruett Sept 25 1948 (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

April 14, 1949 Martha Miller passed away. (Source Abraham Miller, Jr. Bible)

Partial transcript of a description of the Miller Family plot, in Antelope District, Jackson County, Oregon. Survey done May 22, 1983 by John Darling, Karen Holley and Heather Darling SE on Antelope Road to Milepost 16 then 1/10th of a mile, LEFT 12255 Antelope Road, residents were Gordon and Dorothy Park. Entry by dirt road, Right fork goes to residence, LEFT to Gravesite and Homestead Foundations. Distance about 3/4 mile from gate, on knoll. Graves are after a second gate, about 30 yards downslope towards Antelope Road. Three sets of double graves, Headstones on three. Upslope graves are Abraham Miller, Jr., and Elizabeth Turnidge Miller. No Headstones, but a small metal marker "Abraham Miller". Graves surrounded (1983) by collapsing hand made Pickett fences. Above and to the left is the old Miller Homestead remains, a foundation and a single shed that was constructed from the Homestead's lumber. South of the remains is what remained of the Miller Orchard, four trees. One of the Graves is that of Philip Christian Miller, son of Elizabeth Dagley Miller, and Abraham Miller Jr, and another is likely that of Jacob Miller, brother to Abraham Miller, Jr. who was listed on the 1880 Census as living on the homestead. Jacob was born in 1816 in Indiana, and was five years younger than Abraham.